Illinois Secretary of State DMV facilites reopen to long lines, longer waits

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Delays and long lines were apparent at the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles as the agency reopened locations Wednesday.

Wait times stretched anywhere from three to six hours. The Secretary of State's Office is reminding residents many things they would go to a facility for can be taken care of online.

"We've been here since 6:30 a.m., it's crazy," said Antonio Costa.

He spent Wednesday morning waiting and waiting in a long line at the Deerfield DMV location in hope of getting his first driver's license.

"I got here at 6:30 a.m. Waited from 6:30 to 10:30, finally got my name written down. They told me to go to my car. Stayed in my car until 11:30, so I'm finally in line to get my driver's license. I'm excited," he said.
The long wait times were also apparent in Naperville and Lombard, where Kim Perry and her son became so fed up waiting for three hours that they left.

"We didn't want to spend the entire day there and not get a license," she said.

Perry said the process to get her son's first license was unclear after they were given a number and told to sit outside.

"None of the employees could tell us what was going to be done with the numbers, how we were going to be called, how we would know when it was our turn," Perry said.

The Illinois Secretary of State's Office said it's doing its best with social distancing rules in place as they deal with a wave of people coming in to take care of business.

"It's important to highlight first off we have implemented extensions for driver's license expirations, ID expirations, and vehicle registration sticker expirations at least until October 1st," explained Henry Haupt, spokesperson for the Illinois Secretary of State. "We want to remind our customers they do not need to rush into a facility immediately."
State officials said you can help with the long lines by doing almost everything, including the majority of renewals, online.

"The primary reason you would have to go in is if you do not have a driver's license and you wish to apply for one. That is why Secretary White is offering the service, for individuals who don't have a license," Haupt said.

If your license is expiring in in the next two months you have until October first to renew it. The state said if you have to go into a DMV in person, please be patient and practice social distancing.

For more information, click here to read Secretary of State Reopening Plan with Expanded Hours Beginning June 1 & 2 for Driver Services Facilities.

Click here to visit the Illinois Secretary of State website

Click here to see what services are offered by the Secretary of State's Office online.
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