DMV Opens to All Drivers; Online Renewals Emphasized

Starting tomorrow, the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles will offer services to all drivers at its open facilities. Previously, the department had provided services to new drivers only because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this month, Secretary of State Jesse White extended the grace period an extra month for expired driver’s licenses, ID cards and license plate stickers, from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1. The new extension includes those who have July, August and September expiration dates. As a result, all expired documents will remain valid until Nov. 1.

“Extending expiration dates until November 1 means people with an expired driver’s license, ID card or license plate sticker do not need to rush into a Driver Services facility immediately,” said White, “If you must visit a
facility, please come prepared to wait outside due to social distancing, which limits the number of people inside a facility at one time.”

“Throughout this pandemic, my commitment has been to do everything we can to help protect the health and safety of our residents and my employees, while providing services to the people of Illinois,” said White.

White expressed concerns about consumers standing in line outside in the heat, sometimes for hours, and continues to urge the public to consider using online services when possible instead of visiting a facility. Those who do visit facilities must wear masks and practice social distancing.

Masked Drivers Experience Frequently Long Lines in the Heat at the Lake Zurich Secretary of State Facility.

Online Services

To avoid waiting in line, visit to take advantage of online services – such as renewing license plate stickers.

White noted that online transactions continue to flourish, with June 2020 seeing an increase of 110 percent in online license plate sticker renewals when compared to June 2019.

All of the following can be done online instead of visiting a facility:
• renewing a vehicle registration;
• obtaining a duplicate driver’s license or ID card;
• obtaining a driving record abstract;
• renewing a driver’s license through the Safe Driver Renewal program.

REAL ID Federal Deadline Extended

White also reminded the public that the federal government extended the REAL ID deadline by one year until October 1, 2021. White had petitioned the federal government for this extension due to the COVID-19
pandemic. Those holding valid U.S. passports are encouraged to consider delaying their visit to a facility to apply for a REAL ID until their driver’s license is near its expiration date.

Historical Background

Following Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker’s Stay-at-Home order, White closed Driver Services facilities to the public on March 17. His office has continued to serve the public through online services. Until July 31, the office served only new drivers, customers with expired licenses or ID cards, and vehicle transactions. There are no more than 7700,000 expired driver’s licenses/ID cards and 1.9 million expired vehicle registrations.

By Margo Pelak

Margo Pelak is founder of the Local Newsreader. She resides in Hawthorn Woods with her husband Dennis and their two wild beasts.

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