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New IL legislation will provide driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants

Bill effective in January 2024

CHICAGO, Ill. (July 6, 2023) — Governor JB Pritzker has signed Illinois House Bill 3882 into law, which grants undocumented immigrants the opportunity to obtain a standardized Illinois Driver’s License. This will replace the current Temporary Visitor Driver’s License with a standard 4-year license that serves as a valid form of identification and remains compliant with the federal REAL ID Act.

In partnership with Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias and the General Assembly, this legislation was passed to enhance road safety and protect all immigrants that are legally able to drive. Individuals must still pass a driving test, have valid insurance, present identification documents, and prove Illinois residency for at least one year.

In 2013, Illinois became one of the first states to implement the Temporary Visitor Driver’s License program. More than 300,000 individuals currently have a TVDL.

“This legislation is a significant step in eliminating the barriers to opportunity that many undocumented immigrants face,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “We’re ensuring every eligible individual can obtain a driver’s license, making our roads safer, decreasing stigma, and creating more equitable systems for all.”

“Temporary Visitor Driver’s Licenses have become the ‘Scarlet Letter’ of an individual’s immigration status and sadly exposes them to discrimination or immigration enforcement,” said Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias. “This legislation allows immigrants to obtain standard driver licenses that will serve as authentic identification in Illinois. It will help prevent the stigma, instances of discrimination, and problems that TVDLs have been known to cause while making roads safer and enabling immigrants to use a standard license as identification for basic necessities like filling prescriptions or renting an apartment.”

Illinois now joins numerous states with similar processes, including California, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Colorado, said Ricardo Estrada, Chief Executive Officer of Metropolitan Family Services.

HB 3882 will be effective on January 1, 2024.

Office of the Illinois Governor
Office of the Illinois Governor
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