The New Temporary Visitor Driver’s License Program in Illinois

In 2013, a new bill created the new temporary visitor driver’s license program in Illinois. It allows undocumented (non-visa status) individuals to apply for a temporary visitor driver’s license, also known as a TVDL. Anyone who wishes to apply must have resided in the State of Illinois for more than 12 months.

To be eligible, you must prove name and date of birth with one of these two documents:

  • Unexpired Foreign Passport issued by the country of citizenship.
  • Consular Card issued from Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, Colombia or Ecuador (additional countries may be approved).

You must also prove written signature with a ID card or similar, and current address, including 12-month residency, with a utility bill, bank statement, or similar. See for a complete list of accepted documents.

Privilege to Drive only

The temporary visitor driver’s license gives the holder the privilege to drive, it is not valid for identification purposes. The license is marked with “Not valid for identification”. This means that the license cannot be used to board an airplane, enter a federal building, register to vote or apply for a Firearm Owner Identification.

The license is valid for no more than three years and no renewal options are allowed. The holder must reapply as a new applicant, presenting all required documents again.

Tests You Must Take

To apply for an Illinois temporary visitor driver’s license, you must make an advance appointment at one of the 36 designated Driver Services facilities. Just like any other driver’s license, you must pass a vision test, the driver knowledge test, and a behind-the-wheel road test.

Applicants older than 18 and younger than 21, who have never previously been licensed or completed an approved driver education course, must complete a six hour Adult Driver Education Course before they can be issued a temporary visitor driver’s license. When you have completed this course, you will get a certificate of completion which you must show when you apply for your license.

Remember, you must still pass your vision, driver knowledge test and road test. Before you visit a Secretary of State Driver Services facility to complete your tests, we recommend that you use our permit practice tests to make sure you will pass the written knowledge exam. The Illinois driver knowledge practice tests are found here: Illinois

Auto Insurance Required

If you hold a temporary visitor driver’s license, you must have a valid liability insurance. You must show proof of insurance when getting your license. If you are driving without an auto insurance, your temporary visitor driver’s license is invalid. This means you will be ticketed for driving without the mandatory car insurance as well as driving without a license.

When you obtain a liability insurance, your temporary visitor driver’s license may be valid again.