Illinois’ digital driver’s license is one step closer to reality – NBC Chicago

NOTE: The above video was produced before the Senate approved the legislation

Digital driver's licenses and ID cards could soon become a reality in Illinois after the General Assembly unanimously passed a measure and sent it to Gov. JB Pritzker's desk.

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Kam Buckner, passed the House unanimously in late May and passed the Senate without opposition by a 58-0 margin before the spring legislative session ended, according to the General Assembly report. The measure was passed.

Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias, a supporter of the legislation, said it aligns with the office's efforts to streamline and modernize its operations while empowering Illinois drivers and residents’ lives easier.

“This is the future,” he told Pentagraph. It's all part of office modernization.

According to the text of the legislation, all Illinois residents who are eligible to obtain a driver's license or ID card will be able to obtain these documents in electronic format through a mobile application. Residents and motorists can use them in any situation where ID is required, including during traffic jams and when showing ID at retailers.

At least 10 other states already offer mobile driver's licenses, according to the American Motor Vehicle Association. Their guidelines are used to help develop legislative programs to address safety and other issues.

Some groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, have raised concerns about the use of mobile ID documents, citing concerns that law enforcement could search a person's phone without proper consent. Lawmakers explicitly barred law enforcement officers from searching the contents of cellphones after checking mobile IDs, part of a series of amendments to the bill since it was introduced in the General Assembly.

Another concern is that entities will require the use of electronic documents, but this is also prohibited, allowing motorists and residents to use digital or physical cards.

As for whether there's a fee involved, the proposed bill says the cost to install the app “shall not exceed $6,” but does not establish a final fee because the legislation requires the Secretary of State's office to put together a program that would allow the use of identification through a specially designed mobile app. .

According to TSA officials, the agency does accept mobile ID at airports but still encourages passengers to bring physical IDs.

As for REAL ID-compliant cards, Mobile ID can also be used in these situations, but officials again urge residents to bring a physical copy of their ID in case any issues arise.

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