Illinois Secretary of State

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The Secretary of State for Illinois is the keeper of the official records, laws, and Great Seal of the U.S. state of Illinois. These duties have remained unchanged since Illinois became a state in 1818.

In addition, the Secretary of State shall perform other duties that may be prescribed by law. By statute, the Illinois secretary of state is tasked with the duty of issuing licenses to Illinois-registered motor vehicles and their drivers. Enforcement of these duties has made the secretary of state's office a key bureau in the enforcement of driving-under-the-influence or DUI laws. In addition, the secretary of state is the Illinois state librarian and is the custodian of the Illinois state capitol.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Jesse White. He was first elected to the statewide position in 1998 and was subsequently re-elected in 2002, 2006, and 2010. White is the first African-American to hold this office.[1]


  • Bachelor's degree, Alabama State University (1957)[1]


The secretary of state's office is authorized by Article V, Section 1 of the Illinois Constitution.

Article V, Section 1

Officers: The Executive Branch shall include a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller and Treasurer elected by the electors of the State. They shall keep the public records and maintain a residence at the seat of government during their terms of office.


Here is a list of the standard qualifications necessary under Illinois State Law in order to be considered for the Office of Secretary of State:


According to Article V, Section 2 of the state constitution, the secretary of state shall hold office for four years beginning on the second Monday of January after their election and until their successors are qualified. They shall be elected at the general election in 1978 and every four years thereafter.


Article V, Section 7 of the Illinois Constitution addresses vacancies in the office of the secretary of state. If the Secretary of State...fails to qualify or if his office becomes vacant, the Governor shall fill the office by appointment. The appointee shall hold office until the elected officer qualifies or until a successor is elected and qualified as may be provided by law and shall not be subject to removal by the Governor.


The specific duties of the secretary of state are outlined in Article V, Section 16 of the Illinois Constitution.

Article V, Section 16, Secretary of State - Duties The secretary of state shall:

  • Maintain the official records of the acts of the General Assembly and such official records of the Executive Branch as provided by law. Such official records shall be available for inspection by the public.
  • Keep the Great Seal of the State of Illinois
  • Perform other duties that may be prescribed by law


The duties of the Secretary of State’s office are divided among 20 departments employing approximately 4,000 people.[2]

Term of office

See also: States with gubernatorial term limits, State legislatures with term limits

Secretary of State is an elected office within the executive branch of the state government. The election is held every four years in November, and the secretary assumes office the following January. There are no term limits. [3]


The secretary of state's office occupies three buildings of the Illinois Capitol Complex in Springfield, Illinois. Many of the Secretary of State's workers assigned to motor vehicle and licensing duties work in the Howlett Building, south of the Capitol. The Illinois State Library is located in the Brooks Library, east of the Capitol, and the State Archives are housed in the Norton Building, southwest of the Capitol.

In addition, the Secretary of State operates 136 Driver Services license-issuing facilities statewide.

Contact Info


Capitol Address:
Secretary of State Jesse White
213 State Capitol
Springfield, IL 62756

Phone: (217) 782-2201
Toll Free Phone: (800) 252-8980
Fax: (217) 785-0358

See also

External links

Portions of this article were adapted from Wikipedia.