Illinois driver facilities closed for COVID-19 until mid-January

Illinois driver facilities closed for COVID-19 until mid-January

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White said driver services facilities and his offices statewide will remain closed for in-person services until mid-January as the state aims to curb record COVID-19 cases.

Illinois Secretary of State offices have been closed for in-person services until Jan. 18 after a record surge in statewide COVID-19 cases during the holidays, the department announced.

The renewed office closures by Secretary of State Jesse White began days after Illinois reported its largest spike in coronavirus cases Dec. 30, with 30,386 new positive cases.

Illinois averaged 18,322 new cases per day during that final week of December – the highest average daily case rate since the onset of the pandemic. White said closing drivers facilities will help slow that spread during the next two weeks.

“After careful consideration and out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to close all driver services facilities beginning Jan. 3, 2022, through Jan. 17, 2022, due to the spike in COVID-19 cases,” White said.

“The health and safety of employees and the public remains paramount, and face-to-face transactions potentially increase the further spread of the virus. Our goal is to safely reopen all offices and driver services facilities on January 18 for face-to-face transactions.”

While the offices remain closed, White encourages the public to visit to access online services, including checking eligibility to renew a driver’s license online, applying for a duplicate driver’s license or renewing license plate stickers.

The Secretary of State has extended all non-commercial driver’s license and ID card expiration dates to March 31, 2022. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has also extended the federal REAL ID deadline to May 3, 2023.

The drivers and vehicles services hotline phone number will also remain open during this time at 800-252-8980.

The Secretary of State previously closed its doors to Illinoisans in March 2020 as part of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s first statewide shutdowns, and again in November 2020, preempting a winter resurgence in coronavirus cases.

However, this time White’s decision to close the offices marks a departure from other Illinois state departments – such as the long-beleaguered Illinois Department of Employment Security, which had been closed to the public for 531 days after the pandemic’s start – have continued to offer in-person services through the New Year surge.

A spokesperson for the Secretary of State said employees continue to work and be paid to address online requests while the offices remain closed.

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