SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois wants to head off businesses that are swamping the secretary of state's office with robotic requests for appointments for special immigrant driver's licenses.
Appointments are required for the licenses, which are designed for immigrants living in the United States illegally. Some businesses have promised to speed up the process for a steep fee and are using automated dialing machines that are tying up the phone system.
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The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises reported Tuesday that state licensing officials want a limit on the number of times someone can call the appointment system. The rule, if adopted, would limit the number of calls from an individual or a computer address to three each day.
About 53,000 Illinois immigrants living in the United States illegally have received the special driver's licenses made possible by a new state law. More than 100,000 applicants have scheduled appointments since the program began. The licenses, which cost $30, may be used only for driving and have a purple border instead of red.
"Our goal all along is always customer service," said Henry Haupt, a spokesman for Secretary of State Jesse White.
Applicants must have lived in Illinois for more than a year, show proof of insurance and present documents including a valid foreign passport or a consular card. A vision test, written test and road test are required. The special license is valid for three years.