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Illinois Emergency Contact Database


In July 2009, the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office created an Emergency Contact Database. The program is free and voluntary and allows any Illinois ID cardholder (e.g. driver’s license, instruction permit or ID card) to designate one or two people to be contacted in case of an emergency, such as an auto crash. In an emergency situation, if you are unable to effectively communicate for yourself, law enforcement may access to the database to help reach your designated emergency contacts.

You can sign up for the Emergency Contact Database at the following link:

During the sign up process, you will be asked to provide the following information about your emergency contact(s):

  • Name;
  • Relationship;
  • Address; and
  • Phone (Home, Work & Cell)

You can also check boxes to indicate that you have a disability or special needs. These are defined as follows:

Disability – an individual’s physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities; a record of such impairment; or when the individual is regarded as having such impairment.
Special Needs – an increased risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition requiring health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by individuals generally.

The Secretary of State provides the following disclosure and disclaimer:

“I understand if I choose to provide emergency contact or disability/special needs information, I am hereby authorizing the Secretary of State to disclose that information to law enforcement officers, who may release it to public safety workers on scene at a motor vehicle accident or other emergency situation, as needed to conduct official law enforcement duties. It is the responsibility of the holder of the driver’s license, instruction permit, temporary visitor’s driver’s license and/or identification card to enter accurate data in the required fields, as well as to update contact data, disability or special need data, should any data change after initial enrollment. The Secretary of State assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the data entered by the holder of a driver’s license (including commercial driver’s license), instruction permit, temporary visitor’s driver’s license and/or identification card and disclaims any liability for damages, costs, and/or expenses, including, without limitation, consequential damages, arising or resulting from disclosure of data, any inaccurate data or failure to update data.”

In most cases, you will probably want your emergency contact(s) to match the agent(s) designated in your Power of Attorney for Health Care. However, this might not always be the case. For example, suppose your health care agent lives some distance away from you. You might determine that proximity is an overriding factor for an emergency contact.

I hope everyone has a safe and festive 4th of July weekend filled with fireworks, family, friends and food! (though not necessarily in that order)