The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that according to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, over 1,200 undocumented immigrants have gotten driver’s licenses in the state since the start of December. The state passed a law last January making undocumented immigrants eligible for “Temporary Visitor Driver’s Licenses” -- a form of identification which comes in a different color than regular driver’s licenses and which are only considered valid for driving and buying insurance, not boarding planes, registering to vote, or buying firearms.

Reuters notes that Illinois is one of ten states to pass legislation in 2013 giving undocumented immigrants the right to get driver’s licenses, and the most populous one to see the law go into effect -- California, which also passed such a law last year, won’t start issuing licenses until next year. The new state law requires applicants to show proof of insurance and proof that they’ve lived in the state for at least a year, as well as pass a road test, written test and vision test.  The law’s supporters had argued that about a quarter of a million undocumented immigrants in the state were already driving, and that the issuance of licenses -- with the accompanying requirements -- would make roads safer.

The Chicago Tribune writes that to get the licenses, the Illinois Secretary of State requires applicants to present either a valid passport or a consular card -- ID issued by a country for citizens living in a foreign country -- in order to verify their name and date of birth. The only Latin American countries for which the agency accepts consular cards are Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador, a feature which could present problems for citizens of countries which do not easily or quickly renew passports (the licenses have to be re-applied for after three years).