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Secretary of State launches plan to address wait times at driver services facilities (free content)

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is launching a comprehensive plan to address the heavy customer volume at driver services facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

White’s plan includes two key elements:

  • Expanding the appointment pilot program in September to include most driver services facilities in the Chicagoland area.
  • Expanding remote renewal from September to February to allow approximately 1 million more people to renew their driver’s licenses and ID cards online, by phone or by mail. Letters will be mailed out to those who qualify.

Expanding the appointment program
Beginning the first week of September, customers will be required to make an appointment to visit the following three Chicago facilities: Chicago North, Chicago South  and Chicago West. 

Locally, the Midlothian office has been serving as an appointment facility since early this year. It continues operating Tuesday through Saturday with required appointments.
The week of Sept. 7, many other metro driver services facilities will also require appointments, including Joliet and Bridgeview.

Appointments will be required for customers applying for or renewing REAL IDs, standard driver’s licenses and ID cards, and for behind-the-wheel road tests at these facilities. 

Customers can visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com to schedule an appointment up to 10 days in advance during this phase of the program. New appointment slots will be available each day at www.cyberdriveillinois.com.

All 16 appointment facilities will have the same standardized days and hours of operation: Tuesday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

White emphasized that seniors, persons with disabilities and expectant mothers will be served as walk-ins at all 16 of the designated appointment facilities.

Beginning in September, customers can schedule an appointment online or by calling the appointment helpline at 844-817-4649. The secretary of state’s office is partnering with the Chicago Lighthouse to provide these call center services. The Chicago Lighthouse’s call centers offer career opportunities for people who are blind, visually impaired, disabled, veterans and economically disadvantaged.

Walk-in facilities
The temporary Secretary of State facility at Prairie State College in Chicago Height will continue as a walk-in center.

Expanding remote renewal to address heavy customer volume
Beginning in September and running through February 2022, White’s office will be expanding remote renewal for driver’s license and ID card holders. 

In addition, White’s office will continue mailing remote renewal letters to drivers and ID card holders 90 days before their cards expire. 

Most customers will be able to renew remotely and avoid visiting facilities. Customers who must visit a facility include first time driver’s license or ID card applicants, first time REAL ID applicants and drivers ages 75 and older who are required by state law to visit a facility when renewing their license.

White continues to encourage people to conduct other business online at www.cyberdriveillinois.com. Aside from driver’s license and ID card renewals for those who qualify, online services include obtaining a duplicate driver’s license or ID card, ordering a driver record and purchasing license plate stickers.

As a reminder, White has extended all driver’s license and ID card expiration dates to Jan. 1, 2022. This extension does not apply to commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) and CDL learner’s permits.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has extended the federal REAL ID deadline to May 3, 2023.

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