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Giannoulias campaign proposes “Skip the Line” reservation program

Thursday, Jul 22, 2021

* Press release…

Democrat candidate for Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias announced a new program designed to cut wait times at Illinois driver’s license facilities.

Giannoulias wants to implement an online booking system so Illinoisans who need to make in-person visits to renew their driver’s licenses or obtain other services can make an appointment and avoid the lines.

His “Skip the Line” program would be available at every driver’s license facility across the State and allow drivers to schedule an appointment by visiting the Secretary of State’s website or, for those who prefer, calling the office. Walk-in customers would still be welcome.

“The pandemic has taught us that we need to rethink how government provides services, and we need to employ innovative strategies and programs to make it easier and more convenient for people,” Giannoulias said. “Skip the Line will reduce wait times, increase efficiencies, curb redundancies and adhere to protocols and precautions to ensure the health and safety of customers.”

After scheduling, residents will receive a text message confirming their appointment with a link to check in upon arrival, allowing them to enter at the scheduled time and skip the line. Seniors and others with special needs would be given priority, regardless of whether or not they schedule an appointment. In addition to making the process more convenient for customers, the scheduling component will also make it easier and more efficient for employees.

The pandemic shutdown and the Real ID surge has resulted in long lines and wait times at driver’s license facilities and DMVs across the country as people have experienced delays in obtaining basic services, like renewing an expired driver’s license or vehicle registration or getting a Real ID or commercial driver’s license.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has already started a pilot at some suburban facilities, and Giannoulias wants to adopt a statewide program using sophisticated software to secure appointment slots.

The “Skip the Line” program is the first component of Giannoulias’ overall effort to modernize the office. Giannoulias also plans to offer more services online and over the phone so residents don’t have to make a special trip to a driver’s license facility. Giannoulias intends to roll out additional modernization plans throughout the campaign.

Your thoughts on this?

Also, I need a new plate sticker. Best place in Springfield to get that done?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

50 Comments »
  1. - Shibboleth - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 8:38 am:

    =Also, I need a new plate sticker. Best place in Springfield to get that done?=

    Springfield Klein and Mason Illinois Secretary of State Facility. I was in and out in 15min for my renewal a couple weeks ago.


  2. - Numbers guy - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 8:39 am:

    The SOS office in Howlett. They only do vehicle type of stuff there so no drivers license renewals. Never a line.


  3. - Joe Schmoe - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 8:42 am:

    Drive through on South Dirksen. Real quick.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 8:44 am:

    ===Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has already started a pilot at some suburban facilities, and Giannoulias wants to adopt a statewide program using sophisticated software to secure appointment slots.===

    So… Alexi is glomming on what being done in a pilot program, likely to be seen statewide… but with “sophisticated” software.

    No new idea, glomming in a program, but using “sophisticated” to seem smart and winning.

    More of the same with Alexi.

    To the post and the program,

    If it’s working in the pilot program, no matter the next Secretary of State, my hope is to see even before 2023 the office propagate the program so whomever takes over will have it and keep it running.

    At least Alexi acknowledged it’s happening already.


  5. - Nuke The Whales - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 8:45 am:

    ==Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has already started a pilot at some suburban facilities==
    So, it’s Jesse White’s idea and not the idea of Alexi “Sorry About The Obama Seat” Giannoulias?


  6. - M - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 8:45 am:

    The McHenry DMV has been appointment only for drivers license renewals(at least they were about a month ago) and it was impossible to get an appointment. We had been trying for months to get an appointment for my grandma because she needed to do her drivers test. We decided to just bring her up there and see if they were able to fit her in. I think they looked at her and said she is old, she will never figure out the system.

    I’ve talked to several people in the area who have had similar problems. I don’t know if it is the time we are checking for appointments or what but it was terrible.

    They are walk in for sticker renewals, handicap renewals, titles, etc.

    Unless they figure out a way to improve it…I am not a fan of the appointment model.


  7. - Just Me 2 - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 8:45 am:

    ===Best place in Springfield to get that done?===

    Hey boomer, you can do that on-line now.


  8. - tea_and_honey - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 8:46 am:

    I always get my plate sticker at my local bank. Super quick in and out.


  9. - Reformed Blonde - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 8:47 am:

    The Klein and Mason facility isn’t open as of yesterday because of a covid outbreak. I would visit the Howlett as well.

    Furthermore, White’s office literally has “Skip the Line” in their posters about this program, so Alexi didn’t even come up with a unique tagline. Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to run and say that you want to continue the progress that the SOS’s office has made over the last several years? Just a thought.


  10. - Dysfunction Junction - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 8:51 am:

    Howlett Building for the reasons mentioned. I always put a dime in the meter across the street, and I’ve never had the time expire, even though you have to walk clear around to the other side of the building to go through the metal detectors.


  11. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 8:52 am:

    ==I always get my plate sticker at my local bank.==

    Speaking of that, back in the day did Broadway Bank once sell license stickers?


  12. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 8:52 am:

    In fairness, at least Alexi knows what office he is running for now.


  13. - Regular democrat - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 8:53 am:

    If anyone thinks you can just make an appointment and go to dmv and not gave to wait is delusiknal at best. I dont care how sophisticated the software is.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 8:53 am:

    === White’s office literally has “Skip the Line” in their posters about this program, so Alexi didn’t even come up with a unique tagline.===

    Alexi - ever the empty vessel, bereft of new ideas

    At least Alexi never goes away from makes him… Alexi


  15. - ChuckIL - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 8:58 am:

    Works for my haircuts at Great Clips.


  16. - Stix Hix - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 8:58 am:

    –I need a new plate sticker–

    The renewal card we get has an address to mail your check. Just write your tag number on the check. Works great. No surcharge either.


  17. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:00 am:

    === I need a new plate sticker ===

    I’ve been getting mine online for probably 10 years now.

    To the post;

    How about making the reservations/skip-the-line tied to being vaccinated.

    We obviously aren’t going to use the stick to get people vaccinated. At least use a carrot.


  18. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:02 am:

    During the pandemic I was able to renew my sticker online, and I received the new sticker a few days later.


  19. - Lt Guv - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:03 am:

    With a recent move to Colorado, I had to get a new drivers license & license plates. The DMV here (a division of the Dept. of Revenue, not the SOS) offers both appointments and walk-ins. The appointments work great. . . you may need to book 6 weeks out, but when your time comes, I’ve didn’t have to wait for more than a few minutes for either appointment. Seems like a no-brainer.


  20. - Lt Guv - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:05 am:

    BTW, the move was caused by health issues to be close to remaining family - not “Illinois exodus.”


  21. - Montrose - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:07 am:

    This almost feels like an Onion article - “Candidate Hoping No One Notices His New Idea is neither His nor New”


  22. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:10 am:

    Guys like Alexi don’t wait in lines. Lines are for losers. Disney world sells skip the line passes to rich kids, who get to thumb their noses at the schmucks waiting to ride the Matterhorn.

    Alexi skips the line and goes straight to the doorman, who magically removes the velvet rope for Alexi and his entourage to enter the club. Life is good if you’re Alexi.

    There is something inherently democratic about waiting your turn in line. I doubt Alexi would understand that concept.


  23. - Steve Rogers - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:10 am:

    I’ve lived in Spfld for nearly 30 years and I’ve never had a problem renewing my registration at Howlett. Rarely is there a line. The only thing that irritated me was when they closed off entering the SW door and made it exit only. So, I have to walk around the building to the NW entrance in order to walk all the way through the building to the SW corner. Still doesn’t make sense to me.


  24. - historic66 - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:13 am:

    My uncle lives in Michigan, where the DMV has gone to appointment only for everything. He was trying to find a time at a place in or near Lansing. Everything there was booked until after Labor Day.


  25. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:15 am:

    ==The only thing that irritated me was when they closed off entering the SW door and made it exit only.==

    I think that started after either 9/11 or when the metal detectors were installed (the latter after security guard Bill Wozniak was killed on the north side of Capitol in 2004).


  26. - BTO2 - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:16 am:

    Howlett is excellent if downtown. Normally no line, takes longer to walk there than the purchase of the sticker.


  27. - Bigtwich - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:19 am:

    Howlett Building. There is sometimes a short line but that is to talk to someone. To renew a plate just turn right as soon as you enter the area and go to the cashier,.


  28. - Observation - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:19 am:

    Klein Street in Springfield provides quick and excellent customer service if you need to walk-in. For plate renewal for this Boomer family, I use the online service. It took less than 10 days for me to get my stickers in the mail. We got one sticker in four days. I’ll never do a walk-in again for plate renewal.


  29. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:22 am:

    ===How about making the reservations/skip-the-line tied to being vaccinated.===

    Not a bad idea.


  30. - Responsa - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:22 am:

    Laughable in its naivety. On the heels of the non-wonderful experiences folks recently had early on trying to “schedule” COVID shots online, this seems like a bad sell. Also curious how the “walk in customers who would still be welcome” would be slotted in along with the “appointment” people. Whatever, Alexi. At least you got your name in the news in reference to the office you say you are running for.


  31. - Benjamin - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:34 am:

    Making some fraction of the service available by apppointment is a good idea. It’s OK by me if the idea isn’t Alexi’s–if it works, it works.


  32. - Huh? - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:38 am:

    “need a new plate sticker”

    Drive up window a SoS office on S. Dirksen.


  33. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:44 am:

    I have said all along that the candidate that seizes the line issue is going to win. Guess it’s time to hop on the Alexi bandwagon? UGH.


  34. - OneMan - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:49 am:

    I actually just pay the surcharge now and get it done at my local Currency Exchange.

    Almost never a line and if so only about 1 or 2 people.

    I can remember back when we did new plates every year you could tell what bank someone got their plates from based off the three letter prefix (they often matched the initials of the bank)


  35. - Joe Bidenopolous - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:55 am:

    I’ve gotten the last several stickers online - in fact, I ordered one last Wednesday and it was in my Chicago mailbox on Tuesday. Like others, I’ll never go to SOS for that again


  36. - Finally Out - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 10:06 am:

    Agree with the online version. Just did mine, took a couple of minutes, had my sticker in less than a week.

    If you need it immediately, Dirksen Drive drive up window. Print out your form ahead of time and have your check ready, they are very quick. Do not go on the last day of the month or you will see a line.


  37. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 10:10 am:

    What a bold vision. All these endorsements finally make sense.


  38. - PMS - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 10:26 am:

    I miss the sticker vending machine that was on the concourse level of the JRTC. I used to get all my friends and family’s stickers because it was just so cool to do.


  39. - TheUpperRoom - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 10:39 am:

    “Please head to lane 5 to wait in the line for those with reservations. Someone should be with you in the next 30 minutes.”


  40. - downstate dem - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 10:43 am:

    How about cross-training the employees who work there Alexi? At the Joliet office on Tuesday, there was no wait for driver services, but a two hour wait for vehicle services because someone didn’t show up for work that day.


  41. - Pizza Man - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 10:48 am:

    Yes, Alexi, take a U-Turn. I am happy for you ‘Skipping the Line’ by allowing a true progressive, a new leader take the reigns like with Anna Valencia as the Dem nominee.

    Your candidacy has expired and no longer the new, fresh leader the party needs–add your baggage to the dilemma.

    You are simply using this office as a stepping stone.


  42. - Roy G Bluth - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 11:03 am:

    Indiana BMV does appointments and walk in, it’s great to be able to make an appointment.


  43. - workingfromhome - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 11:08 am:

    Our local Currency Exchange does license stickers. Also you can go online.


  44. - Hack in the Back - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 11:13 am:

    Howlett Bldg or on line.


  45. - thisjustinagain - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 12:20 pm:

    Online, baby, if it’s not a “I needed it a week ago” situation. Also, for those who are disabled, elderly, or helping those who are, if they get the reduced-fee plates (Dept of Aging Benefit Access program), they can now renew online with SOS; no need to go anywhere, or overpay and file for the refund:
    (https://apps.ilsos.gov/LicenseRenewal/)…follow the directions, and remember to check the box “I am eligible for reduced license plate fees through the Illinois Department on Aging’s Benefit Access Program”


  46. - Suburbanon - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 12:22 pm:

    Another vote for Dirksen drive up. Very quick. As noted above, you need the form.


  47. - In_The_Middle - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 12:26 pm:

    Works good for people who can afford a computer or smart phone and know how to use them. I was at Woodstock yesterday and there were many senior citizens who were forced to wait outside because they had know idea about the reservation system and when they called for information they were told by the SOS office that they didn’t need to make an appointment. Seniors who didn’t have an appointment had to wait outside 2 to 3 hours before they were called inside. A letter of my observations will be sent to the SOS and the local legislators.


  48. - OneMan - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 1:38 pm:

    Scheduling to a degree seems to be a work-around to a problem.
    It would seem that figuring out how to improve the throughput/productivity of the activities in the offices might be an approach worth looking at (and might play better politically).

    Don’t make it about ‘the employees’ but talk about giving them (and perhaps others) better tools to make things go quicker.

    Here is a thought (and it is free for anyone running), offer a $5 rebate/discount/payment to anyone who gets a sticker at a non-sos location (like a currency exchange). That might play well.


  49. - Loop Lady - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 5:25 pm:

    Great idea that is already being piloted…Alexi is not my choice to replace Jesse, if that is even possible.

    I’m sure the Terlatos could give him a role at the family business to help him feel important…


  50. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 8:56 pm:

    ==Here is a thought (and it is free for anyone running), offer a $5 rebate/discount/payment to anyone who gets a sticker at a non-sos location (like a currency exchange). That might play well.==

    I don’t think SEIU (the main SOS union that covers Drivers employees–not a single SOS employee is AFSCME) would be thrilled about that incentive. Would mean potentially less people in the facility and maybe less work–and perhaps someone’s job at risk if there’s ever budget cuts again.


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