Secretary of State mobile unit to continue monthly appearance on campus


Patrick Li

Students mingle on the first day of the Spring semester at the Illini Union Courtyard on Tuesday.

By Haipei Wu, Staff Writer

For over a decade, the mobile unit of the Secretary of State facility has made it possible for University students and faculty to renew their driver’s licenses at a walking distance from their classrooms.

In the spring semester, the unit will again visit campus, setting its booth up at the Illini Union from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 31, Feb. 28, March 28 and April 25.

Henry Haupt, deputy press secretary of the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, said the unit showcases a partnership that the Secretary of State established with the University many years ago, bringing the Secretary of State facilities’ services directly to the campus.

“We can provide a multitude of services to students and staff who just happened to walk past Illini Union,” Haupt said. These services include driver’s license and state ID renewal, license plate sticker purchase and organ donor sign-up.

Like last year, the unit will offer a custom University license plate, which can give students and faculty a unique way to express their University pride. A portion of the cost will be going to the University’s student scholarship fund, Haupt said.

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Haupt added that a benefit of the mobile unit is that students and faculty who do not have their own vehicles no longer need to travel to a local Secretary of State facility.

“This is a way to provide service to them while they don’t have to leave the campus,” he said.

Jacqueline Medrano, freshman in Applied Health Sciences, said she thinks the unit is helpful because it addresses people’s need to stay up-to-date with their license renewal.

“It takes less time than going to the Secretary of the State’s facility,” Medrano said. “Right here is more convenient as you don’t have to wait for a long line.”

The mobile unit has been a service for colleges throughout the state since 2006. The University has been one of two institutions to help start the program, the other being Northern Illinois University, said Karen Barker, downstate liaison for the Secretary of State’s office, in an email.

The inspiration for the mobile unit service comes directly from the Secretary of State Jesse White, Haupt said, who recognized during his extensive travel around the state universities that it would be a real benefit to them if he could bring services to them directly.

Haupt said that University faculties and students appreciated the mobile services the in the past, and the unit at the Illini Union could serve over a hundred customers each time.

“I will definitely call it a success,” Haupt said.

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