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Illinois Secretary of State hopes texts help solve DMV appointment no-shows

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(The Center Square) – As the Illinois Secretary of State continues to modernize the office’s offerings online and through appointment, a new texting tool looks to combat no-shows.

Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias said more steps are being taken to update what services Illinoisans can get from his office online. For 2024, he said Illinoisans should resolve to not go to the DMV.

“I’m serious, don’t come unless you are 100% certain that you need to visit one of our facilities,” Giannoulias said Thursday during a news conference.

Since expanding the office’s “Skip The Line” program in September, Giannoulias said they’ve accommodated more than 800,000 people with appointments. In the new year, more may be able to skip the line altogether.

“Of the more than 2.25 million Illinoisans who will need their driver’s license renewed in 2024, more than 1 million or nearly half have the ability to renew online or by mail or over the phone,” he said.

Other modernization being announced – texting customers to confirm appointments – addresses something Giannoulias said is a big problem.

“So what we’ve seen is people schedule an appointment, they just grab whatever they can and they never show up,” he said. “And it puts us in a bind. This texting system is an enormously important step to help make sure people are confirming their appointments.”

Other new features include expanding eligibility for online driver’s license and state ID renewals, a new appointment portal, establishing a dedicated help line for accessing online services and expanding DMV facilities for seniors and behind-the-wheel tests.

By looking online for what services are available, Giannoulias said Illinoisans can save time and trouble.

“I cannot tell you the amount of people who go to a facility take time off work, leave their home when it’s snowing out, to trudge to a facility, wait in line and then they realized they never even had to go,” Giannoulias said. “I mean, it happens so much and I’ve got anecdote after anecdote.”

A list of various services Illinoisans can access from the Secretary of State can be found at their website, ILSOS.gov.

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