When Governor Pat Quinn signed bill “SB 957” into law, it set a path for undocumented immigrants to drive legally by obtaining Temporary Visitors Driver’s License in Illinois. The bill was signed into law at Instituto del Progreso Latino where it was cheered by the large crowd including a mariachi band. Supporters, who had fought hard for the bill, said “SB 957” will make it easier for undocumented immigrants to purchase car insurance. For years people have complained that they want to get auto insurance and follow the same rules and requirements as any other driver, but have been unable to buy that car insurance.
“This bill is not just about driver’s licenses, it’s about equality for all,” said sponsoring Rep. Edward Acevedo, D-Chicago.
The bill did meet opposition from groups fearing fraud and abuse, as well as concern that Illinois was encouraging “Illegal Immigration ” but in the end the majority of lawmakers saw this as a way to reduce the number of uninsured drivers out on the streets of Chicago, and the rest of Illinois. Gov. Quinn praised the way in which Democrats and Republicans worked together to get the bill passed, saying people came before politics. “It was everybody in, and nobody left out,” Quinn said.
Why TVDLs instead of regular licenses?
The new permits will have a different design including a blue background instead of a red one. Temporary Visitors Driver’s Licenses will state they are “not valid for identification;” therefore cannot be used to board airplanes, voting or purchasing a gun.
What do I need to get a Temporary Visitors Driver’s License in Illinois?
To qualify for a TVDL, an undocumented immigrant must all of the following:
* Prove that she has lived in Illinois for at least one year;
* Provide a valid unexpired passport or consular ID;
* Provide other proof of her identity and residency that the Secretary of State might require;
* Provide documentation that she is not eligible for a Social Security Number;
* Pass all applicable vision, written, and road tests;
* Show proof of insurance for the vehicle she uses for the road test; * Pay a $30 fee.
To apply for these licenses one must make an appointment at one of only eight designated facilities across the state. To avoid fraud, licenses will be issued only after the state can verify application information and perform a facial recognition search against other databases.