A controversial move out of Springfield allows thousands of illegal immigrants to obtain a drivers license.
Nearly 250,000 people in Illinois are illegal immigrants, some regularly drive without a license. This new bill will allow them to commute legally for the first time.
Under the new law, undocumented immigrants will soon be able to get a temporary visitors drivers license. Proper driver training and car insurance will be a mandatory part of the application process.
"And so today this public safety measure, that's what it's all about, when all is said and done we understand the importance of having safety on our roads," said Governor Pat Quinn.
Juan Lomeli came to the untied states with his parents when he was 12 years old. He began driving 6 years ago, without a license, and found himself in trouble several times.
"I've gotten pulled over say 6 or 7 times maybe, and all the time it's a ticket for driving with no drivers license," says Lomeli.
He says driving is something he and thousands of other illegal immigrants cannot avoid. "We need to drive, in order for us to get to out jobs, to buy groceries, to take out kids to school."
Lomeli says not only can a license help him get to his job, it may even help him land a better paying one, "Most of the factories now, they're asking you for a state ID or your drivers license, if you don't have one of those, it's hard for you to get a job."
Illinois is now the most populated state to sign such a bill, iIn the entire country.
"We're providing today a model for our whole nation," says Gov. Quinn.
The state will begin accepting applications for the new TVDLs in 10 months. They will be good for three years, unlike standard licenses, which need renewal every 4.
There will be some restrictions, and not everyone will be eligible for the license, however.
The state will perform background checks on everyone who applies, so any major crimes or felonies may disqualify you from getting the temporary visitor drivers license. The state will not require fingerprinting.
You will then have to pass an eye exam, a written test and a drivers test.
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