California AB 60 permits undocumented immigrants drivers licenses

California AB 60 of 2013 requires the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to issue driver’s licenses to persons who are ineligible for a Social Security Number (SSN) if additional documentation is provided, such as a valid, unexpired consular identification document issued by a consulate or a valid unexpired passport, or an original birth certificate or other proof of age, or a home utility bill, lease or rental agreement or other proof of state residency, or even a marriage license or divorce certificate, just to name a few.

The issue of allowing undocumented immigrants drivers licenses has been considered almost continually by the Legislature since the 1999-2000 Legislative Session.  Overall, almost every proposal has died, been vetoed, or in one instance, been enacted but subsequently repealed before its implementation.  The debate surrounding this issue is traditionally cast as trying to assure all motorists, whether citizens or not, are trained, tested, and insured versus the notion that licensing noncitizens will reward law breaking activity and encourage illegal immigration.

AB 60 attempts to introduce an alternative solution to the address this public policy issue.  By using a model somewhat similar to the State of Washington, a person unable to provide a Social Security # will have the option to submit several alternative forms of documentation to show proof of identity and obtain a driver’s license.  Assembly member Alejo asserts that by providing this alternative, AB 60 will “improve traffic safety by ensuring that drivers on the road are properly trained, have passed a background and driving test, know state driving laws, and become insured.” 

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