By Jordan Mitchell |Staff Writer|
California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) received over half a million driver
license applications from undocumented immigrants as of March 27, 2015.
Bill AB 60 certifies that any eligible California resident, regardless of their immigration status, may obtain a driver’s license.
“We’re all the decendents of immigrants that came from somewhere. California of course, was started more than 12,000 years ago by immigrants who came from Asia,” said Gov. Jerry Brown during the bill signing ceremony in 2013.
The DMV hired 900 extra employees statewide to handle the workload brought on by AB 60, according to NBC News.
“I wasn’t aware of this occurring and this will slow down the DMV process but, the positive side is that it does make more jobs for people,” stated student Nick Fernandez.
The DMV’s AB 60 statistics report states that 605,000 undocumented immigrants have been issued a driver’s license as of Dec. 31, 2015.
“I do think that illegal immigrants should be given drivers licenses just because not allowing them to have the license is not going to solve the problem. When it comes down to it, there are people in this country that are here illegally, it’s a fact we have to face,” said Cal Poly Pomona student Courtney Cucchissi.
“If they get into a car accident, if they can’t register with the DMV then they therefore have no car insurance and that poses a great problem,” added Cucchissi.
DMV Director, Jean Shiomoto, states the new law will increase safety on California roads.
“One year after AB 60 implementation there are 605,000 more drivers on the road who have passed all testing requirements and demonstrated their knowledge of California’s rules of the road,” said Shiomoto.
While no documentation of citizenship is required to obtain a license, the DMV requires all AB 60 applicants to provide proof of identity and California residency.
According to the DMV, the same rules apply to an AB 60 driver’s license stating that all vehicles must be registered and insured.
“I don’t see the point or the harm really. I mean, they are going to drive anyway right? License or not,” stated Cal Poly Pomona student Cassie Schmidt.
The AB 60 driver’s license is similar to those already distributed by the DMV.
According to driveca.org, the only distinguishable difference can be found in the top right corner of the license above class designation, stating “Federal Limits Apply.”
“Federal Limits Apply,” according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California (ACLU), means that federal officials and out of state law enforcement are not required to accept the driver’s license as a form of identification.
The cost for an AB 60 driver’s license is the same standard $33 fee that the DMV charges all California drivers. California is one of ten states that provides driver licenses to undocumented immigrants.
“We are the biggest state, we are the dream state, and now we’re the state of opportunity and we’re sending a message to Washington,” said Brown.