SPRINGFIELD - Both Republican and Democrat members of the State Senate voted 41 to 14 Tuesday to allow non-citizens that have lived in Illinois for at least a year to obtain a temporary vehicle driver's license. The measure now proceeds to the Illinois House for consideration.
SB 957 allows the Secretary of State to issue temporary visitor's driver's licenses to applicants who have resided in this State for more than a year, are ineligible to obtain a social security number, and who are unable to present documentation issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services authorizing the person's presence in this country.
The bill says an adult "unable to present US citizenship papers" may identify themselves to the driver's license facility staff with a valid, unexpired passport or a valid, unexpired consular ID from the applicant's country of citizenship.
Although applicants will need to take driver's tests at the DMV offices, the legislation does not require them to attend driver's training classes. If those issued temporary licenses are found to be driving without state-required car insurance, their license privileges will be suspended immediately. In order for the Secretary of State's office to prepare the needed forms, tests and personnel for these proposed changes, the legislation will take effect 10 months after it becomes law.
The Senate vote on SB 957 was as follows. Democrat senator Bill Haine and Ed Maloney opposed the bill, along with 12 Republicans - Bivins, Bomke, Cultra, Duffy, Christine Johnson, John O. Jones, La Hood, Lauzen, Luechtefeld, McCann, McCarter and Syverson.
Senator Gary Forby voted "present," and Senators Althoff, Hutchinson and Righter were not on the floor.