Illinois Secretary of State Jess White announced Thursday that all employees are now required to proof of vaccination or submit to COVID-19 testing to work.
Beginning Sept. 1, all Secretary of State workers who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 will be required to take tests every two weeks, according to a release from White.
“As the pandemic continues to surge nationally, we must do all we can to maintain the safety of our customers and employees and this is an important step in doing that,” said White. “I am proud of our staff for their hard work as we continue to provide essential services during this challenging time.”
White also requires all employees and customers at Driver Services facilities statewide, Secretary of State Offices and the Illinois State Capitol Complex to wear masks while indoors.
In a statement Friday, White said that 16 facilities in the Chicago area will begin requiring an appointment to apply for or renew a driver’s license and ID cards beginning next month. Road tests also will require an appointment.
Seniors, people with disabilities and pregnant women can still walk into those facilities without an appointment, White said.
Larger facilities in central and downstate Illinois also will move to scheduled appointments soon but White’s office would not provide a specific date.
Some Secretary of State facilities will keep seeing people on a walk-in basis, including the central Chicago office inside the Thompson Center and rural facilities that serve smaller numbers of people.
White’s office also plans to expand a program letting people renew their driver’s license or ID card online, by phone or by mail through February. The office previously extended all expiration dates to Jan. 1.
People who are eligible will receive mailed letters with details about those options. White said his offices estimates this could mean 1 million people will not need to come into an office in person.
People must come into an office to get a first-time license, ID card or REAL ID. People older than 75 also are required to continue in-person visits when renewing a license.