Illinois to allow immigrants to get licenses

January 27, 2013

The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois is the fourth state to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver's license with a new law signed by the governor.

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn signed the legislation Sunday surrounded by hundreds of supporters who say the measure will make Illinois' roads safer and expand opportunities for undocumented immigrants.

Quinn says people need a way to get to work, drive to the doctor and drive their children to school. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the new law should serve as a model for the nation.

New Mexico and Washington both issue licenses to undocumented immigrants, while Utah issues permits.

Illinois officials say the dissemination of the temporary licenses is expected to begin in October.

The legislation was billed as a public safety measure and had bipartisan support.