Giannoulias to Illinois Drivers: Ditch the DMV
Modernization, new efficiencies eliminate most in-person DMV visits
Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias told Illinois motorists today to stay away from the DMV.

That’s because Illinoisans can now obtain more DMV services and complete more transactions online. In addition, Giannoulias unveiled a series of new measures aimed at reducing wait times if a DMV visit is required.

“Don’t come to the DMV, skip the trip!” Giannoulias said. “The truth is that most people no longer need to even come to a DMV because the services they need are available with just a few clicks. Our efforts to modernize the office and create efficiencies have led to a ‘Do-it-Online, Skip-the-Line’ approach, which saves Illinoisans time and headaches.”

Giannoulias noted that 2.25 million Illinoisans will need their driver’s license or state ID renewed in 2024. Of those, more than 1 million, or nearly half, have the ability to renew online.

In 2023, there were just over 1 million Illinois drivers who were part of the state’s “safe driver” program (those with clean driving records without a moving violation) that had the option of renewing without having to visit a DMV. Of those safe drivers, approximately 400,000 renewed online, 60,000 renewed by mail and 30,000 renewed over the phone, but nearly 560,000, more than 50%, visited a DMV unnecessarily.

The Secretary of State’s office has made design changes to its website,, to make all available online services more accessible to all customers.

The Skip-the-Line program, which launched last September, has accommodated more than 800,000 Illinoisans by appointment, resulting in little to no wait times upon arrival at DMVs.

New Features:

  1. Expanding Eligibility for Online Driver’s License and State ID Renewal

To determine if you qualify to renew online, has a new feature that determines a driver or resident’s eligibility for online renewal in real-time after entering their driver’s license or state ID number, Social Security number and date of birth. If a visit is required, the system will automatically direct customers to the appropriate appointment type.

In addition, eligibility for online renewals has been expanded to include customers who:
1) Are ages 75 to 78
2) Have made an online address change to their driver’s license or state ID

  1. Launching Appointment Portal

By utilizing the appointment portal available at, customers will now be guided to the correct service and appointment type they require or qualify for. Once they determine which service they wish to obtain, customers are routed to the appropriate appointment type or online service.

  1. Implementing Text Message Notification for Appointments

After booking an appointment online, customers will now receive text notifications to remind them of their upcoming appointment.

Customers will receive a reminder notification 24 hours before their appointment. They will be instructed to respond “1” to confirm their appointment or “2” to cancel their appointment. If the appointment is cancelled, the free slot will be made available to other customers.

  1. Establishing a Dedicated Phone Help Line to Assist with Online Service Access

Anyone encountering any difficulty accessing online services can now call a dedicated phone line, 800-252-8980, and staff will provide them with assistance making appointments and answer any questions about requirements or eligibility. Specific options are built into the call-handling system for teen and senior drivers.

  1. Expanding DMV facilities for Seniors and Behind-the-Wheel Tests

Since the launch of the Skip-the-Line program in September, the office has opened a total of four “Senior Only” DMV Centers and four Road Testing Centers.

The “Senior Only” DMV Centers, which are designed specifically for the needs of seniors, provide walk-in service without the need for an appointment. The centers in Bridgeview, Calumet Park, Evanston and Westchester and have served 21,000 seniors since Sept. 1.

The new Road Testing Centers are located in Addison, Lockport, Naperville, and on Elston Avenue in Chicago. These dedicated testing centers will free up appointments at other DMV facilities to those who wish to conduct business that does not require a road test.