12,000 immigrants get Illinois drivers licenses

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 12:46 p.m.CDT

SPRINGFIELD — Thousands of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally now have Illinois driver's licenses.

The Illinois Secretary of State's office says more than 12,000 immigrants have received licenses since December under a new state law.

Immigrants can currently take license tests at 14 locations across the state. Secretary of States spokesman Dave Druker says 36 locations will offer license tests by the end of the month.

The licenses are valid for three years and may be used only for driving. They can't be used as identification for activities like boarding a plane, voting or buying a firearm.

Supporters say the law will save Illinois motorists money and make roads safer. Critics say the state should be cracking down on immigrants who entered the country illegally.

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