Illinoisans are getting more time to renew their driver’s licenses and ID cards.
Secretary of State Jesse White’s office said Wednesday that it is extending the renewal deadline until Feb. 1. The deadline had been Nov. 1.
It is the third time White has extended the renewal deadline because of disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
White spokesman Henry Haupt said the latest extension is the result of "the backlog of customers that we continue to serve and the need for social distancing during the pandemic. We’ve had heavy volume at many of our facilities."
Because of the pandemic, Secretary of State’s facilities were closed from mid-March until June 1. During that time, people who needed to visit a facility to renew a license or ID or obtain one for the first time were out of luck.
The new deadline applies to people whose licenses or ID cards have already expired. It also applies to those whose licenses or cards will expire in October, November, December and January.
Also, drivers age 75 and older still have a full year from the expiration of their driver’s license to renew. The expiration date for those drivers remains their birthday in 2021.
The extension does not apply to license plate stickers. Those must be up to date by Nov. 1. Renewing license plates by obtaining new stickers does not require a visit to a Secretary or State’s facility.
White’s office continues to urge people to use the office’s online services when possible. Not all license renewals require a visit to a facility. The Secretary of State’s website is at www.cyberdriveillinois.com.
A lot of people are apparently heeding that message. White’s office said there’s been an 84% increase in sticker renewals online compared with the same period a year ago. From June 1 to Sept. 30 last year, about 654,600 people obtained new license plate stickers online. For the same period this year, it was over 1.2 million.
For people who need to visit a facility, face masks are required and social distancing is enforced. That means only a limited number of people are allowed into a facility at one time. People need to be prepared to wait outdoors in various types of weather.
Contact Doug Finke: firstname.lastname@example.org, twitter.con/dougfinkesjr