“This legislation will offer Temporary Visitor’s Driver’s Licenses to undocumented immigrants that will be valid for driving purposes only, and will increase highway safety by reducing the share of uninsured drivers on our roadways.” – Senator Linda Holmes

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Nearly fourteen years after initial legislation was filed, Senate Bill 957 passed the Senate today granting undocumented immigrants the right to apply for a Temporary Visitor’s Driver’s License (TVDL).

“I am pleased with action taken today to provide undocumented immigrants with the means to legally get to and from work,” said Senator Linda Holmes (D - Aurora), co-sponsor of Senate Bill 957. “This legislation will offer Temporary Visitor’s Driver’s Licenses to undocumented immigrants that will be valid for driving purposes only, and will increase highway safety by reducing the share of uninsured drivers on our roadways.”

Currently, undocumented immigrants have no driving privileges in Illinois and are thus unable to obtain car insurance. It is estimated over 70,000 automobile crashes occur among uninsured drivers every year, costing $630 million in damage claims that is paid by all drivers in the form of increased insurance premiums. Senate Bill 957 would require drivers who receive a TVDL to obtain car insurance and pass all required driving safety exams currently required of those who obtain a traditional driver’s license.

While a TVDL grants driving privileges similar to a driver’s license, a TVDL only grants the issuer the right to drive a vehicle. A TVDL may not be used for identification purposes and may also not be used to obtain legal residency status in the United States.

“This legislation is really a win-win for our economy and for public safety in Illinois,” Holmes continued. “I would like to thank President Cullerton for taking the lead on this issue that affects residents in all areas of the state.”

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights estimates 250,000 immigrants will be eligible for a TVDL under this legislation.

Senate Bill 957 passed on a bipartisan vote and heads to the Illinois House for further consideration.

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