Every state has a specific department that handles issues related to
driving, such as licensing drivers and registering vehicles. Without
this regulation and oversight, the nation's roads would be in chaos. In
many states, these functions are handled by the Department of Motor
Vehicles or the Motor Vehicle Commission, but in Illinois, they are
handled by the Secretary of State's office.
The Secretary of State is an elected position, currently filled by
Jesse White. This office is one of the most multifaceted state agencies
around, handling everything from driver's licenses and vehicle
registration to the Illinois state library system. How did this one
department end up with so many different responsibilities? Read on for
an overview of how these different departments sprang up under the same
Illinois Secretary of State History
The history of the Illinois Secretary of State's office begins in
1818, when Illinois entered the United States as the 21st state in the
Union. The Secretary of State originated as the keeper of state
records, laws, and the Great Seal of Illinois. The Illinois Secretary
of State's current responsibility for supervising the state library
system grew out of this original record-keeping role. The Secretary of
State is still the Keeper of the Great Seal of Illinois. An interesting
historical fact about this job duty is that an early Illinois Secretary
of State, Sharon Tyndale, actually had the seal modified. Read more...
Illinois Secretary of State's Office Locations
Find a Secretary of State's Office in your area. Read more...
Illinois Drivers License Guide
As you can see, the Illinois Secretary of State's office performs
many services to the public. In fact, the Secretary of State's office
interacts with more Illinois residents than any other state agency. The
most commonly utilized services are getting a driver's license and
registering a vehicle. Here is a quick primer on how to do both. Read more...