Sacramento – Today, California’s Department of Motor Vehicles issued emergency regulations that will determine how driver’s licenses are granted to undocumented immigrants under California’s AB 60 (Alejo). The DMV’s emergency regulations are effective for 180 days.
Responding to community suggestions raised at hearings in Oakland and Los Angeles, the new regulations expand the types of documents which immigrants may provide to confirm their residency and identity when applying for a driver’s license.
For example, survivors of domestic violence will now be able to provide letters, on letterhead, from domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, a nonprofit entity, a faith-based organization, an employer or a government within the U.S. attesting that the applicant lives in California as proof of residency.
Applicants will also be able to submit documents relating to a child to satisfy identity requirements under the secondary review process.
And although this isn’t the case yet for all applicants, applicants of Mexican nationality will be able to submit their consular identification card or their passport as their sole proof of identity rather than having to submit both documents to do so – which could have incurred costs of over $128 per person. The Drive California coalition will continue to work with the DMV to encourage that applicants of other nationalities are afforded this opportunity.
With the license’s design finalized and the regulations on the verge of completion, immigrant community members are eagerly preparing for the implementation of the new law on January 1, 2015.
“We’ve been waiting for this moment for twenty years, and it’s finally within our grasp,” said Luis Nolasco, with the ACLU of Southern California. “With these updated regulations, now we can move forward and help community members gather their documents, study for the test, and make history on January of next year.”
The community’s hard work has also won strong protections from the state against abuse. Now, we need the Obama administration to follow California’s lead and respect the rights and privacy of all applicants. That means making sure that information in the DMV database is safe and secure.
AB 60, the Safe and Responsible Driver Act, will benefit all Californians by ensuring the all drivers are tested, licensed and insured. It is expected that 1.4 million undocumented Californians will become eligible to apply for driver’s licenses under this new law.