Driving While Undocumented

If you are an undocumented motorist in Illinois, it is important that you apply for a Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL). A TVDL coupled with auto insurance gives you protection from detention or arrest in the event that you are stopped by a police officer while driving.
To assess whether you are eligible for a TVDL click here , or visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com. To apply for a TVDL, you will need to schedule an appointment at one of 36 specified Secretary of State facilities. To make an appointment and see a list of participating facilities, call 855-236-1155 or visit the SOS website.
A few things to remember:

  • If you have ever been in the U.S. on a visa, like a J-1, which allowed you to apply for and receive a Social Security Number (SSN), you may have obtained a “regular” driver’s license in the past. Although for some years people were able to renew those licenses even after the expiration of their visas, this is no longer the case. If you find yourself in this situation, you should look into obtaining a TVDL.
  • If you have obtained a driver’s license in the past with a false SSN or with someone else’s SSN, there is an extra step before getting your TVDL. You will need to undergo a fraud interview with SOS, so that they can determine your true identity, as well as serve out a 12-month suspension. If you do find yourself in this situation, you may want to reach out to an immigration attorney prior to filing your TVDL application.
  • If you have a criminal arrest or conviction record, or if you think there might be an outstanding warrant for your arrest, it is imperative that you consult with an immigration attorney or accredited representative prior to filing a TVDL application.
    • To search for a private immigration attorney in your area, click here.
    • To search for a legal services provider in your area, click here.
    • To search for a recognized agency or accredited representative in your area, click here.
    • You can also call the Chicago Irish Immigrant Support at 773-282-8445 for more information.