Long lines as Illinois driver services facilities re-open

Secretary of State Jesse White encourages drivers to continue to use cyber drive Illinois website

SILVIS, Illinois — Illinois Secretary of State offices on Monday began opening statewide, including driver services facilities in the Quad City area. 

Long lines of drivers could be seen at the Silvis-Moline office, representing a backlog that has been building up since Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced his stay-at-home order on March 17. 

"My husband said, 'Oh, go today. It's raining, there's not going to be anybody there,'" said Milan driver Gina Work, one of dozens standing in line outside Wednesday morning. "Yeah, I got here and I was at the end of the building. So, I can't quit now -- almost there." 

Workers limit the number of drivers who can enter the office at once. Outside, people wait in line wearing masks and practicing social distancing, in accordance with state requirements. 

"I'm getting my driver's license," said 16-year-old Michelle Frerich. She, too, would need to wear a mask and wait in line to take her driving test. "I'm OK with it, it gives me more time to study for it to be prepared," she said.

The secretary of state office said it would focus on serving new drivers like Frerich, but other drivers like Jared Fortner needed something they could not get online. Fortner said his new job required him to have a doubles endorsement on his CDL.

"I have to do this to start my new job. And I can't afford not to go," Fortner said.