IL Secretary of State facilities requiring appointments in effort to reduce wait times

It’s been a familiar sight since drivers license facilities reopened following pandemic shut downs: Long lines of people wrapped around the building. 

The Illinois Secretary of State's office is hoping the long wait times are about to change.

Starting Wednesday, people who need to get their REAL IDs, drivers licenses or ID cards must now have an appointment at several suburban facilities.

Schaumburg, Bridgeview Lombard, Des Plaines Waukegan, Naperville, Aurora, Plano and Joliet will now be appointment only.

Those nine locations are in addition to seven other facilities in the state already operating on an appointment-only basis.

There are some exceptions.

Senior citizens, people with disabilities and pregnant women will still be allowed to walk-in without appointments.


Outside the Des Plaines Secretary of State office Tuesday, many people expressed skepticism about the new plan. One of them had already tried to make an appointment.

"So I went onto the website and it said you cannot make an appointment online unless you make it 10 days in advance. So I took off work today and I’m here. And I came early, and so did everybody else," said Janet Fitzsimmons.

She said her daughter visited the same facility in July and waited three hours for service.

"I think appointments get booked up really fast. So they should really have both available. It’s still a challenge," Fitzsimmons said.

Mark Divina said he expected about a 30-minute wait and was shocked to discover the long line when he arrived Tuesday morning. He thinks appointments are a better idea.

"I would think that’s a great idea to go forward," Divina said.

Another man who didn’t give his name arrived with a bag chair fully prepared to wait and said he doesn’t think appointments will work.

"I think it’ll be worse with appointments because everybody will be getting the appointments and there will be no openings," he said.

Fitzsimmons said she expects it to be like trying to make an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine was when it first became available, impossible to get through with appointments booking quickly.

Appointments can be made up to 10 days in advance by going to or by calling (844) 817-4649.