Moving in 3 months, Driver's License expires in 2 weeks
February 26, 2020 2:22 PM   Subscribe

How do I renew my driver's license to show a future address I'll have possession of in a few months?

After being a lifelong renter, we made the plunge and commited to buying our first property. We completed the attorney review period and have now entered a long closing period, which is set to conclude with the purchase and title transfer in May. We (and sellers) are happy with this agreement giving us plenty of time to prepare for moving and wrap up loose ends on both sides.

However, my Driver's License (Illinois) is set to expire in a few weeks. I need to renew it, but obviously I don't want to have my current address on there which will be invalid in a few months. While providing a copy of the executed contract, is there anyway the DMV will let me put my new longterm address on there?

The current owners are willing to write something to the effect of "we currently live here but kittysockpuppet will be taking ownership in May, and we're ok with them using the future address for this." After googling and looking on the Secretary of State website I can't find anything related to putting a new address that is not currently inhabited for a license. I'm gonna guess this is because they might not allow this, but looking for any advice for how to make a strong case here.

Basically, it looks like I'm going to have to get a new DL with my current address, then a few months later go back and get it with the updated address? Is there anyway to avoid waiting in line twice here, any shortcut or cheaper option to maybe get a "temporary DL" or something similar and then a permanent one once we live in our new home? This is probably all further complicated by the fact that I have to 'upgrade' to a RealID, and I've been hearing horror stories about the wait times so far at SOS facilities.

Additional information: in Cook County IL; license that was issued 4 years ago and is about to expire does not have my current rental address and lists an old property.
posted by kittysockpuppet to Law & Government (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Looks like you do the address change online. When I’ve done this in other states, the DMV just mails a new license.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:39 PM on February 26, 2020

(Chicagoan here.) If you got the "safe driver online renewal" notice that I always get, you should be able to do the online renewal now and get a standard license in the mail so you don't have an expired DL, and upgrade to the RealID version after you move.

I just moved last May and my DL was up for renewal in June, and I was able to do both the online renewal and an address change at the same time, but only for a standard license. So you could consider trying with that the new address (I don't recall it asked for any proof I lived at the new address) but it still wouldn't get you anywhere as it wouldn't be a RealID. So I'd play it safe and renew with the current address and then get the RealID after you have documentation that you actually live in the new place. The whole point of RealID is its a stricter set of rules about proving who you are, so you're not going to be able to renew now for a RealID with an address you don't live in yet.
posted by misskaz at 2:58 PM on February 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

Also, you can't get the RealID at the "express" locations so if you have to renew your license now in person, pick one of those to avoid the RealID lines. The Chicago Loop Express location is always pretty fast for me if you happen to be downtown.
posted by misskaz at 3:06 PM on February 26, 2020

Seconding misskaz’s advice about Safe Driver Renewal online if you’re eligible.

You can (as Admiral Haddock mentioned) change your address with the Secretary of State’s office online once you’ve moved. But they will not send you an updated license with that new address unless you come in to the office in person and pay a fee.

I don’t think the Secretary of State’s office will (knowingly) let you have a license (especially not a Real ID) with an address you aren’t living at yet.

Is there a particular reason you don’t want your ID to still show your old address after you move? AFAIK your only legal obligation is to notify the Secretary of State’s office of an address change within 10 days of moving—you’re not obligated to get a new license when you change addresses. I have moved multiple times within Illinois and I think my driver’s license has had an old address about 80% of the time. YMMV, but for me it’s been a very minor hassle once or twice but nowhere near as much of a hassle as an extra trip to the Secretary of State’s office.
posted by eirin at 4:33 PM on February 26, 2020

Anecdata: I know this is a different state, but once I was talking with a police officer in Los Angeles and brought up that I'd recently changed addresses and when do I need to get my ID updated and he basically said that since I'd moved within the same county it didn't really matter.

So, possibly, if you're still remaining in Cook County, then as long as the state knows your correct address, your physical ID doesn't necessarily have to be updated.

Here's some info from the Illinois Secretery of State
posted by acidnova at 4:46 PM on February 26, 2020

In my state, options to prove address included bank statements. I changed my address on that before moving in, and then used it to get my license.
posted by metasarah at 5:42 PM on February 26, 2020

Renew immediately, using current address. You will either get it before you move, or your mail forwarding will intercept it, or you will move and then get a new ID.

Depending on the county, the address on your ID does not have to be current so long as you notify the DMV of the change. Think about all the people who move every few months or every year-- they're not all breaking the law, it really doesn't matter whether your address on your ID is current unless you're trying to prove residency (i.e. library card without also bringing some mail) or you write a lot of checks and need the pre-printed address to match for acceptance. It is more important that you be able to drive than the printed address be correct.
posted by blnkfrnk at 6:05 PM on February 26, 2020

I deliberately never put my real address on my driver's license.
posted by Oyéah at 7:32 PM on February 26, 2020

I've had a state ID for almost four years from a whole other state. Now, since I don't drive, I don't need to be registered/licensed in my current state of residence as a driver, but there's no legal requirement to keep your address up-to-date on your ID that I know of as long as the DMV has your current address. The only potential issue I can think of is if for some reason your insurance insisted on having a DL with your current address instead of accepting your current in-state registration.
posted by praemunire at 8:35 PM on February 26, 2020

Oyeah that's totally illegal
posted by patnok at 1:47 PM on March 3, 2020

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