Temporary Visitor Driver's Licenses for Immigrants

Bishops Back SB 957: Temporary Licenses For Immigrants

Para hablantes de español

¡ATENCIÓN! La Cámara de Representantes de Illinois el 8 de enero de 2013, aprobó la medida SB 957 con un voto de 65 a 46. La medida va ahora el Gobernador Pat Quinn, quien ha dicho que firmará la legislación en ley.

Haga clic aquí para ver una hoja de información sobre SB 957.

La Asamblea General de Illinois aprobó recientemente SB 957. Esta legislación amplía Licencias de Conducir Visitante Temporal a los inmigrantes indocumentados. Estas licencias sólo se podrían utilizar para conducir y no servirían como identificación. De ser aprobadas tendrán que ser renovadas después de tres años.

Para obtener estas licencias, los inmigrantes tendrían que probar al menos un año de residencia en Illinois, pagar una cuota y aprobar los exámenes, el escrito, el de visión y el de conducción. También estarían obligados a comprar un seguro de auto.

Nuestros obispos de Illinois apoyan estas licencias como una forma de mantener unidas a las familias inmigrantes. Muchos padres inmigrantes se ven separados de sus hijos como consecuencia de una detención por una violación menor del reglamento de tránsito. Cuando no tienen una licencia de conducir para mostrar a la policía, a menudo son enviados a la cárcel y luego deportados.

Por otro lado, si todos los conductores son capacitados, examinados, tienen su licencia y están asegurados, todas las familias estarán más seguras.

 Our Illinois bishops supported the extension of Temporary Visitor Driver's Licenses (TVDL) to undocumented immigrants living in the state.

Senate Bill 957 passed the Illinois House on Jan. 8, 2013, after passing the Senate in December. The bill now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn, who has said he will sign the measure into law. Read the language of the bill here and here. Read our press release after House passage here.

Members of the Catholic Campaign For Immigration Reform–Illinois Statewide Network traveled to Springfield on Wed., Nov. 28 to educate lawmakers on TVDLs, ending the day with a prayer. See photos on our Facebook page. Read the Daily Herald story about the lobby day. Watch our driver's licenses advocacy video!

What Is A TVDL?

TVDLs are currently issued to individuals who have lawful immigration status but no Social Security Number. A TVDL may be used only for driving and not for identification. They must be renewed after three years.

Individuals seeking a TVDL have to pay a fee, as well as pass vision, written and road tests — the same requirements of a traditional driver's license that proponents believe would lead to safer highways. To guard against security and fraud issues, immigrants would have to provide some means of identification to get a TVDL, such as a passport or consular identification card. They also would have to show proof of Illinois residency of at least one year.

Immigrants receiving a TVDL would also be required to buy auto insurance, just like every other licensed driver in Illinois. Estimates put the state's number of undocumented immigrants driving without a license at 250,000.

A TVDL is distinguishable from a regular driver’s license because it uses a purple/blue color scheme, instead of a red color scheme. However, because they are already in use, TVDLs would not “flag” an individual as undocumented if stopped by police for a traffic violation. Many undocumented immigrants are deported to their home country, separated from their children, when they are stopped for a minor traffic violation and are unable to produce a license.

CCI Executive Director Robert Gilligan participated in a Chicago press conference advocating for the extension of TVDLs to immigrants. Watch and listen to his statement here.

Need A Fact Sheet/Talking Points? We've Got It.

CCI put together this one-page fact sheet that explains TVDLs and outlines why the bishops are supporting this effort. Read the fact sheet in Spanish.

Individuals must work to provide for their families and contribute to society, and here in Illinois, automobile transportation is often necessary to hold a job that provides food, shelter and medial care for families. This basic level of opportunity and compassion should be afforded to all those working in Illinois.

Here's A Bulletin Insert On The Issue, In English and Spanish

CCI crafted this simple bulletin insert on the issue. Here is the bulletin insert in Spanish. It can also be used as an action alert to send to advocates.