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Undocumented Illinois Driver’s License Bill Law of the Land

Close up to a driver license/permit application document with pen on top to illustrate how to get a driver's license.

Senate Bill 957 allows undocumented immigrants living in Illinois to obtain temporary visitor driver’s licenses (TVDLs) starting December 3, 2013. The state estimates it will process 100,000 undocumented immigrant applications annually. An estimated 500,000 undocumented immigrants live in the state now and are expected to apply.

A pilot program will begin at four state driver services facilities with a scheduled expansion at 21 other locations in January 2014.. The licenses may be used only for driving and are not considered valid forms of identification for activities such as entering a federal building, voting, buying a firearm, or boarding a plane.

Unlike a standard driver’s license, which has a red stripe across the top and may be renewed every four years, the temporary visitor licenses have a purple stripe. The license is valid for a maximum of three years; no renewal options are allowed. Holders must reapply as a new applicant after three years, presenting all required documents for verification.

What requirements will applicants need to obtain a TVDL?

To qualify for a TVDL, an undocumented immigrant must:

  • Prove they’ve lived in Illinois for at least one year;
  • Provide a valid unexpired passport or consular ID;
  • Provide other proof of identity and residency that the Secretary of State might require;
  • Provide documentation that they are not eligible for a Social Security Number;
  • Pass all applicable vision, written, and road tests;
  • Show proof of insurance for the vehicle used for the road test;
  • Pay a $30 fee.

Acceptable proof of identity documents include a copy of a lease, utility bills and a valid passport or consular identification card. A complete list of required documents needed to apply for a TVDL is available at The tests are offered in Spanish, Polish, Mandarin Chinese and Korean – applicants must make an appointment in advance.

What happens if someone with a TVDL drives without insurance?

TVDL holders will be subject to all provisions of the Vehicle Code, including those requiring insurance coverage. In fact, anyone applying for any license, including a TVDL, must prove that the vehicle she is using for her road test is insured. Finally, if someone with a TVDL is stopped and cannot show proof of insurance, the TVDL becomes invalid, and the motorist can be ticketed for driving without a license.

To schedule an appointment or see a list of participating facilities, visit


Are you concerned about obtaining a license or confused about Senate Bill 957? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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