A committee of the Illinois Senate approved a bill (SB 957) that would give illegal aliens access to temporary driver’s licenses. The bill will likely pass during the legislature’s veto session since it has the support of prominent legislators in both chambers, including the Senate and House Republican leaders.
The bill would allow illegal aliens to apply for a visitor’s driver’s license that would last for three years. The licenses cannot be used for identification purposes, such as for boarding a plane or voting. To get one, a person must demonstrate one year of Illinois residency and present a valid, unexpired passport or consular identification card. The license would be considered invalid if the holder is stopped by police and cannot provide proof of liability insurance. However, an illegal alien would not have to demonstrate proof of insurance when applying for a license.
The full Senate is expected to vote on the bill next week and send it to the House, which must consider it before the January 8 session deadline. Gov. Pat Quinn has said he would sign the measure.
An estimated 250,000 illegal aliens could get licenses under the bill. If SB 957 becomes law, Illinois would join New Mexico and Washington state in giving illegal aliens access to driver's licenses. Utah law offers illegal aliens driving privilege cards. California recently passed a law that extends licenses to recipients of the Obama Administration’s executive amnesty.
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