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Illinois DMVs to require appointments in more than 40 locations starting in September

Susannah Lohr
St. Louis Public Radio
Starting in September, more than 40 driver service facilities across Illinois will require appointments for certain driver services, like renewing licenses and obtaining a Real ID.

Drivers who need to renew their license at a secretary of state facility will likely have to make an appointment starting this fall.

Starting September 1, 44 driver services facilities in medium- to large-sized cities around the state will require appointments for driver services – things like renewing a license, updating a license to meet Real ID requirements or taking a driving test. Vehicle services, like title registration, will still be offered on a walk-in basis.

The facilities impacted by the move to appointment-based service are in some of the state’s most high-traffic locations. These include all but one of the locations in Chicago as well as locations in Aurora, Deerfield, Naperville, Waukegan, Champaign, Decatur, Bloomington, Peoria and more.

The change in policy is accompanied by a standardization of hours at driver services facilities. All driver services facilities will operate from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Sixteen locations will offer Saturday morning hours from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“Our goal is to change the stereotype of dealing with government offices,” Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias said, noting that he hopes customers have a “positive experience.”

Appointments can be made by visiting the secretary of state’s website at ilsos.gov or by calling 844-817-4649.

Giannoulias said that the cost of implementing the changes falls within the existing secretary of state’s budget.

“This is sort of the first major step in implementing the rest of our modernization goals,” Giannoulias said.

Giannoulias also encouraged Illinoisans to make use of online services when possible, including driver’s license renewal and ordering license plate stickers. The secretary of state’s office also received more than $75 million in this year’s budget for its IT modernization efforts, which have already resulted in an overhaul of the office’s website, ilsos.gov.

“The revamped website is more intuitive and prioritizes our most popular programs and services so customers can find the information they want and need faster and more conveniently,” Giannoulias said in a July 12 news release.

It’s a continuation of several pandemic-driven shifts toward modernization for the secretary of state’s office. That process began under former secretary Jesse White, who held the office for more than two decades before Giannoulias took office in January.

These pandemic-era modernizations included piloting appointment-based service and offering expanded online services for drivers.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to hundreds of print and broadcast outlets statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, along with major contributions from the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation and Southern Illinois Editorial Association.

Andrew Adams is a state government and data reporter with Capitol News Illinois.