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Undocumented immigrants can now get a driver’s license in Illinois. Here’s how: | MyStateline

Undocumented immigrants can now get a driver’s license in Illinois. Here’s how: | MyStateline

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Beginning Monday, July 1, immigrants who have entered the United States illegally and are living in Illinois will be able to receive a standard driver’s license or a state ID.

Previously, undocumented immigrants could obtain a Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL), adorned with a purple stripe and the words “Not Valid for Identification.”


According to Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias, “That purple marker has become a ‘scarlet letter,’ potentially exposing them to prosecution, discrimination or immigration enforcement.”

Illinois provides limited cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

“This legislation is an important step toward removing the barriers to opportunity that many undocumented immigrants face,” said Governor JB Pritzker upon signing the bill. “We are ensuring that all eligible individuals can obtain a driver’s license, making our roads safer, decreasing stigma, and creating more equitable systems for all.”

Illinois will join numerous states with similar processes, including California, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Colorado.

The Secretary of State’s Office said more than 300,000 Illinois residents have a TVDL. According to Giannoulias, the new license will encourage more people to get one, which will make the roads safer.

The standard non-citizen driver’s license will have the words “Federal limits apply” on it and does not grant a person the ability to vote or receive a REAL ID required for air travel.

The new license will allow undocumented immigrants to fill prescriptions, open a bank account or apply for housing, officials said.

Applicants must have lived in Illinois for more than one year to be eligible to receive a driver’s license and provide a passport or consular card, proof of residency, and proof of insurance at a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) facility.

Those who wish to replace their TVDL card can apply online.