To shorten lines, most Chicago-area driver services centers to require appointments

The Secretary of State’s office also will expand remote renewal for eligible drivers.

SHARE To shorten lines, most Chicago-area driver services centers to require appointments
People line up to enter the Illinois Driver Services Center in Schaumburg, Ill., Thursday, July 15, 2021.

Appointments will be required for driving tests and to apply for new licenses, state IDs or Real IDs beginning in September.

AP file

To cut down on long lines and long waits at driver services centers, the Secretary of State’s office will require appointments at many Chicago-area centers beginning in September.

People who need to get a driver’s license or state ID, take a road test or apply for or renew a Real ID will need appointments at 16 driver services centers, including three Chicago centers at 5401 N. Elston Ave.; 9901 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive; and at 5301 W. Lexington St. 

“During the pandemic, my office has continued to serve the public, including face-to-face transactions, in a safe and responsible manner,” Secretary of State Jesse White said in a news release. “To further address the heavy customer volume at facilities, my office is expanding the appointment program.”

Appointments can be scheduled up to 10 days ahead of time at or by calling 844-817-4649.

Lake Zurich, Melrose Park, Midlothian and Woodstock centers have required appointments for several months. Beginning Sept. 7, appointments will also be required at centers in Schaumburg, Bridgeview, Lombard, Des Plaines, Waukegan, Naperville, Aurora, Plano and Joliet.

Walk-in customers will continue to be welcome at the Thompson Center and centers in Deerfield, Elgin and the temporary facility at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights.

Seniors, people with disabilities and pregnant women can be served as walk-ins at all 16 of the designated appointment facilities.

White’s office will expand remote renewal for driver’s license and ID card holders through February. About 1 million people will be able to renew online, by phone or by email instead of visiting a driver services center. Letters will be mailed to qualifying residents.

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