Illinois Secretary of State announces enhancements for 'Skip the Line' online DMV program

ByEvelyn Holmes and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, January 12, 2024
Secretary of State announces enhancements for online DMV service
Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias urged drivers Thursday to use the "Skip the Line" online program for DMV appointments on

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Illinois Secretary of State made a push Thursday to urge drivers to "skip the lines" at the DMV and go online for services.

Alexi Giannoulias held a news conference Downtown to unveil enhancements to his office's website.

Giannoulias said most people who need to renew their drivers license, change their address or update their license plates can do so on the online portal.

Doing these tasks online can save time spent in long lines at the DMV.

Donald Rogers couldn't be happier after he was finally able to get a state ID at a Secretary of State driver's service facility after not having proper identification.

"It was real simple," Rogers said. "I just went right in, gave a Social Security number and got it right away."

However, visits like that could be a thing of the past as the Secretary of State's office looks to eliminate the need for most in-person appointments.

2.25 million Illinoisans need their drivers license renewed this year, and more than a million of them can do so online, by mail or on the phone.

"I'm serious. Don't come unless you are 100% certain that you need to visit one of our facilities," Giannoulias said.

The "Skip the Line" program began in September. It allows motorists who were in the "Safe Driver" program to be able to renew their license without coming to a DMV.

In 2023, only half of the one million drivers eligible took advantage of the shortcut.

"I had an expired license and had to renew it and that was it," Illinois driver Tom Sullivan said.

To help Illinois drivers skip the trip, eligibility has been expanded to include online drivers license and state ID renewal for those 75 to 78, or those who have made an online address change to their driver's license or state ID

Other enhancements include the launch of an appointment portal, a dedicated phone help line, and a text message notification system for appointments.

The Secretary of State said he hopes the text message reminders will help fight the 40% no-show rate for appointments.

"People would grab an appointment a couple weeks down the line and also grab another one and wait to see when they can grab another one without canceling the one they had," Giannoulias said.

Earlier this week, a fourth seniors-only DMV opened in Bridgeview.

READ MORE | New walk-in senior DMV facilities now open after secretary of state appointments program launched