SB 957 would make Temporary Visitor Driver’s Licenses (TVDLs) available to the 250,000 undocumented immigrant motorists who need to drive for work, school, worship, and other purposes. This bill contains multiple safeguards to protect against fraud and abuse, and encourage applicants to get insurance.
- All TVDL applicants will need to provide a valid current passport or consular ID document. Foreign governments already establish strong procedures for issuing these documents for verifying those that get issued. These governments have no interest in enabling fraud.
- The Secretary of State photographs all applicants for any license, and uses facial recognition software to prevent duplicate identities.
- All applicants must show they have lived in Illinois for at least one year, so people would not be able to claim bogus addresses in Illinois to get a TVDL.
- The Secretary of State will also process applications at a central location in order to verify documents. No one will be issued a TVDL on the same day; SoS will check the applicant’s documents and, if they are legitimate and meet all standards, the applicant will get the TVDL by mail.
- TVDLs look different from regular licenses: they use a different color scheme, and are marked “NOT VALID FOR IDENTIFICATION.” Because of these differences, TVDLs therefore cannot be used to vote illegally, purchase a firearm, board an airplane, or enter a federal building.
- TVDL applicants are subject to all requirements in the Illinois Vehicle Code, including the requirements for testing and mandatory insurance.
- To further encourage TVDL holders to buy insurance, SB 957 would make the TVDL invalid if the bearer is pulled over and cannot provide proof of insurance. The motorist would therefore be ticketed not only for driving without insurance, but also for driving without a license. The TVDL would be reactivated only if the motorist gets insurance.
SB 957 is a practical, commonsense way to ensure that everyone who is driving in Illinois be tested, get licensed and get insured so that roads in Illinois are safer. We want all Illinois motorists to obey with the law—and making sure that immigrant motorists who need to drive to work, school, shopping, and places of worship are trained and licensed will allow that to happen. We need to put highway safety first.