This guide provides a brief and basic overview of the TVDL process in Illinois including those situations involving fraud in an application for driving privileges before the Secretary of State.
Undocumented immigrants residing in Illinois who are unable to obtain a Social Security number may now apply for a TVDL. A TVDL will give the applicant the ability to drive legally for a three-year period before it must be renewed. An appointment must be scheduled at one of the designated DMV facilities capable of processing the application. The applicant must provide the Secretary of State with paperwork verifying their legal name, current address, date of birth, and a minimum of 12 months of residency in Illinois. The Secretary of State provides a list of acceptable documentation, which includes bank statements, utility bills, consular cards, passports, and translated and certified birth certificates. The TVDL applicant must pass all of the standard tests including road, written and vision exams.
Applicants who have already obtained a fraudulent license or State ID by using a Social Security number that did not belong to them must follow a different procedure before applying for their TVDL. It is highly recommended that the applicant obtain legal representation to guide them through this process and ensure that it is handled properly. The fraudulently issued license or ID should be reported to the Secretary of State along with the applicant's true identity. The case will be transferred to the Secretary of State Police to verify the applicant's true identity through an in-person interview. Appropriate documentation must be provided at the time of the interview. As a result of the fraud, the Secretary of State typically will enter a 12-month suspension on the applicant's record. It may be possible to obtain restricted driving relief (i.e. a work permit) during the period of suspension through a hearing with the Secretary of State Department of Administrative Hearings. Hardship must be demonstrated at the hearing. Once the period of suspension ends, the applicant may complete the application process and obtain their full TVDL.
Applicants who were previously revoked for DUI must have an administrative hearing through the Secretary of State in order to demonstrate that they are not a risk to public safety. The revocation must be removed or a Restricted Driving Permit must be obtained prior to obtaining TVDL privileges. The hearing process is complex with a number of pitfalls and legal representation is strongly recommended. A variety of work, including an alcohol/drug evaluation, must be completed prior to the hearing.
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