State of Illinois Driver’s License OK’d by Senate

The Illinois Senate passed landmark legislation yesterday to grant driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.

The plan passed with a 41-14 vote. The plan is set to give undocumented immigrants a temporary driver’s license that lasts for a period of three years. The requirement is that the applicants must have lived in the state of Illinois for at least one year. They also must pass the driving and vision test and show proof of auto insurance.  The temporary driver’s licenses will not be able to be used to buy firearms, to travel or register to vote. It will be a different color than regular licenses.

It is estimated that Illinois has 250,000 undocumented immigrants. According to 2010 census data, Illinois is the 5th most populated state with 12.8 million in over 57,000 square miles. Proponents of the bill say this will help keep all Illinois drivers more safe. Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, who is sponsoring the proposals said, “We will definitely save lives by passing this bill.”

The bill will still need support from the House. That is yet to be determined.

If it becomes law, Chicago will be the most populated state with this type of legislation. Washington state and New Mexico already grant driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. While Utah, allows driving permits.

Most states require lawful permanent residency or citizenship in order to receive a driver’s license.