Press Release - Friday, June 30, 2023
Gov. Pritzker Signs Legislation Providing Driver's Licenses to Undocumented Immigrants
Legislation is another step to creating equitable opportunities for all Illinoisans
CHICAGO — Governor JB Pritzker signed HB 3882 into law, which grants undocumented immigrants the opportunity to obtain a standardized Illinois Driver's License. This will replace the current Temporary Visitor Driver's License (TVDL) with a standard 4-year license that serves as a valid form of identification and remains compliant with the federal REAL ID Act.
"This legislation is a significant step in eliminating the barriers to opportunity that many undocumented immigrants face," said Governor JB Pritzker. "We're ensuring every eligible individual can obtain a driver's license, making our roads safer, decreasing stigma, and creating more equitable systems for all."
"To be a welcoming state, we must ensure communities have the tools to truly feel welcomed. Providing access to a standard Illinois Driver's License for our undocumented immigrants is about breaking down barriers that lead to discrimination and creating a pathway so everyone can drive safely on our roads," said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. "I applaud Governor JB Pritzker and Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias for their determination and commitment to making Illinois a safer and more equitable state for all our residents."
In partnership with Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias and the General Assembly, this legislation was passed to enhance road safety and protect all immigrants that are legally able to drive. Individuals must still pass a driving test, have valid insurance, present identification documents, and prove Illinois residency for at least one year.
In 2013, Illinois became one of the first states to implement the TVDL program, and this advancement builds on that progress. More than 300,000 individuals currently have a TVDL.
"TVDLs have become the ‘Scarlet Letter' of an individual's immigration status and sadly exposes them to discrimination or immigration enforcement," said Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias. "This legislation allows immigrants to obtain standard driver licenses that will serve as authentic identification in Illinois. It will help prevent the stigma, instances of discrimination, and problems that TVDLs have been known to cause while making roads safer and enabling immigrants to use a standard license as identification for basic necessities like filling prescriptions or renting an apartment."
"This bill, which ICIRR drafted and worked hard to pass, is another step toward full inclusion of immigrants," said Lawrence Benito, Chief Executive Officer of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. "More immigrants will be able to drive and use a valid identification card without fear of being singled out based on their status. We thank all of the community leaders and government allies who helped get this bill to the finish line."
Illinois has long stood as a safe haven for immigrants, and now joins numerous states with similar processes, including California, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Colorado," said Ricardo Estrada, Chief Executive Officer of Metropolitan Family Services. "Thanks to Representative Barbara Hernandez and members of the general assembly for their sponsorship and thanks to Governor Pritzker for his leadership and for making us all safer today.
HB 3882 will be effective on July 1, 2024.