Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL)
On January 27, 2013, the governor of Illinois signed Senate Bill 957 into law, allowing undocumented immigrants in Illinois to obtain a temporary visitor driver’s license (TVDL). TVDLs are currently available to other categories of immigrants who cannot obtain a social security number, such as foreign students, spouses and children of temporary workers, and long-term visitors. The new law extends the TVDL to undocumented immigrants who have lived at least one year in Illinois.
The TVDL enables an undocumented immigrant to drive legally in Illinois, without being arrested. It does not change the immigration status of its holder, and is not considered a valid form of ID. That is, it cannot be used to board an airplane or enter into a federal government building, for example, but it may be used by hospitals and first responders to indicate the license holder’s name and address. A TVDL is visually distinct from a regular driver’s license; it has a purple color scheme rather than the red color scheme of the regular license.
The TVDL is available for driver’s license class D, L, or M (cars and motorcycles) and is valid for three years. A TVDL holder is required to have current liability insurance on the vehicle for the license to be valid.
Secretary of State (SOS) offices will begin the process of issuing TVDLs to undocumented immigrants in December 2013. An appointment is required before submitting an application. Starting mid-November, undocumented immigrants can start making appointments to apply for TVDLs at selected SOS offices by calling 885-212-2687 or visiting www.cyberdriveillinois.com.
In order to apply for the TVDL, an undocumented immigrant must have lived for at least one year in Illinois, and is required to have valid car liability insurance and pass the applicable vision, written, and driving exams. The application fee is $30 ($35 for motorcycles).
After making an appointment, the applicant will be required to go to an SOS office and present the following documents:
- A valid government-issued ID that indicates name and date of birth.
- This may be a valid, unexpired foreign passport or a Consular Card (only for Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador)
- A document that contains a written signature.
- For example: unexpired foreign passport, consular card, court order, credit card, US government issued ID, mortgage loan agreement, or Mexican electoral card.
- A document that proves 12-month residency in Illinois.
- For example: bank statement, utility bill, home insurance policy, certified school transcript, school tuition invoice.
- Two documents that prove current address.
- For example: consular card, certified school transcript, bank statement within past 90 days, utility bill, home insurance policy, certified school transcript, school tuition invoice.
Applicants are allowed to bring an interpreter to assist with the application process. After the application is reviewed and approved by SOS, the TVDL will be issued and sent by mail. Only SOS offices are authorized to issue TVDLs, and there are no additional fees other than the $30 application fee ($35 for motorcycles).
It is important to note that at the time of the application, SOS will check the identity and previous driving records of an applicant through facial recognition software. TVDL applicants must finish serving any suspensions for previous violations, including driving without a license or using false information on previous license applications.
Click here for quick guides to the TVDL in English, Spanish, Korean, Polish, and Chinese.
Contributed by Salma Waheedi, 2013 UAO Intern