A big problem for many of our clients is the inability to obtain a driver’s license. Not anymore, at least for Illinois. Last week, Gov. Pat Quinn’s office released a statement that he will sign the bill offering undocumented immigrants driving privileges.
The driver’s license will be called the Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL). The TVDL will be valid for three years and renewable. Applicants will need to provide proof that they resided in Illinois for at least one year, show proof of address, and proof of automobile insurance. The applicant will also need to pass the usual driving test.
The TVDL will look and act different than regular driver’s licenses. Firstly, TVDLs cannot be used for identification. Secondly, TVDLs cannot be used to purchase guns, vote, or board a plane. Likewise, the TVDL cannot be used to obtain benefits from the state.
Allowing undocumented immigrants to drive seems like common sense. The state saves money because the once uninsured now have auto insurance. Secondly, arresting and deporting people who are only driving to work or dropping their children to school is not a common sense approach to immigration and only costs taxpayers more to fight a fruitless fight.
Although obtaining a driver’s license may seem like a basic right to many, for undocumented immigrants, it is a small victory in a long road ahead. The freedom to move should not be dependent on citizenry within our borders, just like our other great freedoms. Illinois is moving towards the future and we are thankful for that.