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New Law Makes Driver’s Licenses Available to Illegal Immigrants

Posted on in Criminal Defense

KerryA new law has been signed by Gov. Pat Quinn which will allow illegal immigrants to get special driver's licenses. The Illinois Secretary of State’s office told the Chicago Tribune that it will take approximately ten months to finalize rules about who will qualify for the licenses and what documentation will be accepted. Once that’s done and employees are trained, the state will then begin issuing the licenses.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Edward Acevedo, D-Chicago, who attended the bill signing, which was held at Instituto del Progreso Latino in Chicago. Acevedo noted that the bill was not about driver’s licenses but was in fact about equality for everyone. The licenses will be referred to as temporary visitor driver's licenses. They will only be valid for three years from date of issue and will clearly be marked “not valid for identification”.

In order to qualify for one of these special licenses, an applicant must prove they have lived in Illinois for a least a year. They also cannot be eligible for a Social Security card. Acceptable documentation includes a copy of a lease, utility bills and a valid passport or consular identification card. Applicants will need to make appointments at one of the eight state-wide designated locations. There will be a wait time before the license is issued in order for the state to verify the application information and perform a facial recognition search against other databases.

Applicants must also pass a written and road test, vision test and pay a $30 fee. Licensees must also obtain insurance and if caught without it, will be ticketed for both driving without insurance and driving without a valid license. Many supporters of the new law feel that it will be able to help illegal immigrants obtain insurance.

Illegal immigrants face many legal obstacles when accused of a crime. If you are considered an illegal immigrant and have been charged with a criminal offense, contact an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney today.

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