As of December 3, the State of Illinois will begin accepting applications from illegal aliens for state issued driver’s licenses. State officials estimate as many as 500,000 illegal aliens currently living in the state could apply for the licenses.
Governor Pat Quinn signed the law which created the “temporary visitor driver’s license” almost a year ago.
Supporters say the change will make Illinois roads safer because immigrants will undergo driver’s tests and be required to have insurance for the license to be valid.
Critics fear fraud and abuse, with some lawmakers saying immigrants living here illegally should be fingerprinted to qualify. Immigrant rights organizations fought back on that idea, arguing that it would deter participation among a population that often is distrustful of law enforcement and other government agencies.
To qualify, applicants must prove they have lived in Illinois for a least a year and show they are ineligible for a Social Security card. Documents that will be accepted include a copy of a lease, utility bills and a valid passport or consular identification card.
Illegal aliens who wish to receive state approved driving privileges will be required to pass a vision, written, and road test. Services will be offered in Spanish, Polish, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and English.
The state plans to process 100,000 illegal alien driver’s license applications annually. According to Secretary of State Jesse White, getting the program up and running will cost $1 million.
There have been no recent announcements regarding improving American citizens’ experiences dealing with the Illinois Secretary of State. Wait times have reportedly been as long as 3 hours or more to renew a legal resident driver’s license.