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CHICAGO – To provide more safety and security for immigrant drivers, State Senator Ram Villivalam joined Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias for a press conference highlighting legislation that would expand identification options for immigrants and make Illinois roads safer.

“Currently, many immigrant and refugee families are restricted access to certain services by Temporary Visitor Driver’s Licenses and face stigma for having only that as a form of identification,” said State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago). “With House Bill 3882, we are modernizing the law to provide eligible individuals the ability to obtain a standard driver’s license without discrimination and to eliminate any stigma. This legislation builds on our mission to continue to be the most welcoming state in the nation."

House Bill 3882 – which passed the Illinois General Assembly last month – would allow eligible noncitizen residents to receive a standard Illinois driver’s license with the wording “Federal Limits Apply” printed on top of the card, per the federal REAL ID Act.

The new license would replace the current Temporary Visitor Driver’s Licenses often used by immigrants driving legally in Illinois. New licenses would no longer have the wording “Not Valid for Identification” currently on TVDLs. This would also make the new standard license valid as an ID card and a driver’s license.

“These driver licenses are standardized to serve as authentic identification and to help remove the stigma, prevent instances of discrimination and avoid problems they have been known to cause,” said Giannoulias, who thanked the legislative sponsors and advocates who pushed for the change. “TVDLs have made it difficult for the cardholders to do basic things like fill prescriptions or rent an apartment. This legislation will make our roads safer and protect immigrants.”

If signed into law, Illinois will join numerous states with similar processes, including California, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Colorado.