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Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias and state Rep. Janet Yang Rohr tour the first Mobile DMV, which offers services directly from a mobile unit, in Daley Plaza in the Loop, Wednesday, June 12, 2024.

The first Secretary of State’s office Mobile DMV arrived Wednesday at Daley Plaza. Staffers working in the unit can help with renewing driver’s licenses and applying for Real IDs. The office plans to roll out three more mobile units in the coming months.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Secretary of state brings the DMV to the driver

The Illinois secretary of state’s office launches a mobile unit to bring the services of a brick-and-mortar office closer to workplaces and into communities.

Renewing a driver’s license or applying for a Real ID might become a little easier with the rollout of a DMV on wheels.

The Illinois secretary of state’s office unveiled its first unit Wednesday in Daley Plaza. The aim is to offer more flexibility for busy people who might not have time to drive to an office, stand in line and wait to be served.

“Since taking office, it’s been our mission to make it easier and more convenient for Illinois residents to access government services without having to wait or travel to a DMV facility,” Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias said. “Our DMV on Wheels program will build on the success of our digital programs, saving time by offering efficient ways to do things like renew your driver’s license or get a vehicle sticker without leaving their communities.”

MOBILEDMV-061324-05.JPGIllinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias greets a reporter as drivers and vehicle owners visit the first Mobile DMV, which offers services directly from a mobile unit, in Daley Plaza in the Loop, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias was on hand to welcome clients seeking help at the Mobile DMV.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Mobile DMV vans use on-board connectivity. They will allow Illinoisians to renew their driver’s licenses, apply for a state ID or temporary visitor driver’s license, renew vehicle registration, purchase vehicle stickers, apply for a Real ID, apply for a replacement or corrected driver’s license or state ID, join the Illinois Organ and Tissue Donor Registry and register to vote.

A number of people crossing Daley Plaza stopped by hoping to get their licenses and IDs renewed. They welcomed the idea of being able to transact state business near where they work.

Adrianna Siller, 33, who lives on the South Side, got a duplicate driver’s license. The Mobile DMV being near her workplace was convenient for her. She believes the convenience will be a draw for communities on the South Side.

“If you’re in a hurry or have a lot of things going on instead of traveling the commute, you can come to one of these and get whatever services you need done in a quicker manner of time,” Siller told the Sun-Times.

MOBILEDMV-061324-04.JPG

Staffers working inside the Mobile DMV can assist with state IDs, Real IDs, vehicle stickers and other tasks connected with the secretary of state’s office.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Khadija Warfield, 42, who lives on the Near North Side, agreed with Siller’s assessment.

“I think this is going to be great accessibility for communities that have been overlooked and underserved. It’s going to be a huge benefit for people who don’t have access to transportation and have a difficult time getting to the actual secretary of state locations.”

John Heroff, 42, is a Near South Side resident who applied for his Real ID on Wednesday. He marveled at the speed of service at the Mobile DMV and said it was a better experience than going to the DMV office inside the Daley Center.

“The space was terrible down there. The basement smelled bad, and there were pigeons down there. It was gross, but it was very efficient and I never waited long. But this is amazing. If you could do this when you are out and about, that seems much more convenient and you don’t have to go into the center,” Heroff said.

The Mobile DMV is expected to launch this month serving Chicago and suburbs, with three more coming later in the summer.

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