SUPPORT HIGHWAY SAFETY: Driver’s Licenses for ALL Illinois Motorists
Illinois law requires anyone applying for a driver’s license to provide a Social Security number (SSN). This law prevents 250,000 Illinois immigrant motorists who cannot get SSNs from getting licenses— even though they need to drive to support their families. These unlicensed, uninsured drivers cost Illinoismotorists$64 million in damage claims each year. In 2011,42% of all fatal crashes in Illinois involved an unlicensed driver (351 out of 835). Nationwide, unlicensed motorists are five times likelier to be involved in a fatal crash than licensed drivers.
Providing a way for Illinois immigrant motorists to obey driver’s license laws will make everyone on our state’s roads safer. These immigrant drivers will need to get tested on their driving skills and on the rules of the road, and purchase insurance.
How Illinois Benefits When All Motorists Get Licensed
- Police will be able to use licenses to identify motorists during stops and check their traffic records.
- First responders and health care providers will be able to use the license to identify the individuals they are assisting.
- Drivers will be more likely to stay at the scene of an accident to aid police and emergency workers and to exchange insurance information with other affected motorists.
- Limited court time and jail space will be less burdened with cases of drivers who are there solely for driving without a license or insurance. In Lake County, 470 (28%) of all motorists booked at the county jail for traffic offenses from October 2011 through September 2012 were undocumented immigrants who could not get licenses.
- As more drivers get insured, the numbers of accidents involving uninsured motorists will decline, the costs of such accidents—and the premiums to cover them–will decline, and insurance rates will fall for everyone. If half of the 250,000 unlicensed immigrants got licensed and insured, premiums would drop by $46 per policy.