Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation on Sunday to allow illegal immigrants to obtain a driver's license. (WJBC file photo)
By The Associated Press
CHICAGO - Illinois is the fourth state to allow illegal immigrants to obtain a driver's license with a new law signed by the governor.
Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn signed the legislation yesterday surrounded by hundreds of supporters who say the measure will make Illinois' roads safer and expand opportunities for illegal 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.
Proponents say the measure will improve safety on the roads, but critics warn of the potential for identity fraud.
Below are the requirements for receiving a permit.
The purple-bordered card will be different than regular licenses, and valid only for driving purposes. It cannot be used as a form of identification, meaning licenses can't be used to buy a firearm, register to vote or board a plane.
Applicants who satisfy all requirements will receive their license by mail, not at state facilities. The state will begin accepting applications at least 10 months after the governor signs the bill. Each card will cost $30, the same cost of a regular license.