Today at 2:30m CST Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law three-year driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.
The signing ceremony was held at the Instituto del Progreso Latino in the city’s southwest side. Illinois now becomes the fourth state in the country to allow the undocumented driving privileges. Illinois promoted the initiative as a public safety measure. Unlicensed immigrant drivers were estimated to cost $64 million in damage claims in the state, the new law ensures that all drivers pass necessary driver’s training, testing and obtain insurance thereby making the state’s roads safer.
On January 8, 2013 the legislation passed the State House by a 65-46 margin.
Undocumented immigrants will receive temporary visitors’ driver’s licenses, a document that has been provided since 2005 by the Secretary of State to foreigners who live temporarily in Illinois and do not have Social Security numbers.
This license is a different color from the regular licenses and cannot be used as identification to board airplanes, buy weapons or to vote.
Applicants will have to have lived in Illinois for at least three years, must present an identity document from their country of origin and pass the tests certifying their ability to drive. The temporary licenses are expected to be offered starting in October of this year.