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Undocumented immigrants can apply for Illinois driver's licenses

For many Illinois residents, driving is a part of everyday life, so some people may not think twice about the privilege of driving. For many undocumented immigrants, however, the ability to drive legally is a daily source of anxiety. Being pulled over for a broken headlight could begin deportation proceedings for those who don't have legal immigration status.

These fears could subside for many people, as the state of Illinois has begun processing temporary driver's license applications for undocumented immigrants. By obtaining a license, many families don't have to worry about the potentially devastating consequences of doing something as simple as driving the kids to school or going to work.

As more people consider applying for these temporary licenses, it's important to consider the criteria outlined by Illinois law. The following are requirements for undocumented immigrants to gain the privilege of driving legally:

  • Residency: Individuals must provide proof that they've lived in the state for at least one year in order to be considered.
  • Driver's test: Not only is it necessary to pass driving exams, but it is also necessary to pass vision screenings as well.
  • Insurance: Like other drivers on the road, it's necessary to have an active auto insurance policy.

The implementation of this new law has no impact on federal law. This means that it is only legal for those who have a temporary license to operate a vehicle within the borders of Illinois. Failure to adhere to this condition could result in a traffic violation and immigration consequences.

While law enforcement officials and the immigrant community begin to adapt to the change in law, it may still become necessary to seek legal counsel. By doing so, individuals can understand their legal options within the framework of state and federal statutes.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Immigrants welcome chance to apply for new state temporary driver's licenses," Juan Perez Jr., Dec. 3, 2013

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Godoy Olivieri, Ltd.-An immigration law firm

2021 Midwest Road
Suite 200
Oak Brook, IL 60523
312-445-0591 local
800-264-2752 toll free
630-705-5258 fax
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1655 S. Blue Island Ave.
Suite 300
Chicago, IL. 60608
312-445-0591 local
800-264-2752 toll free
630-705-5258 fax
Map & Directions