California’s new law, AB-60, allows the California DMV to grant driver’s licenses to anyone who is eligible, without requiring proof of lawful status in the United States. Individuals, including undocumented immigrants, are able to apply for driver’s licenses in California starting on January 1, 2015.
How do I apply for my driver’s license under this law?
· Make an appointment and go to the DMV.
· Bring your identification document (a passport or consular ID card) and proof of California residence (lease agreement or utility bill in your name) to the appointment.
· Fill out the form. DO NOT fill out the portion to register to vote-noncitizens are not eligible to vote in any state or federal election.
· Pay the $33 fee.
· The DMV will also take your fingerprints and photograph, and administer a vision test.
· Take the written test. If you do not feel comfortable taking the test in English, you can request to take the test in your native language.
· If you pass the written test and eye exam, you will receive your driver’s permit, which allows you to drive with a licensed driver in the car with you.
· You must then make a second appointment to take the driver’s test. If you pass the driver’s test, you will receive your driver’s license.
What can I do with my AB-60 license?
The AB-60 license allows you to drive legally. However, it cannot be used for any federal purposes, such as entering a federal building, or going through security at the airport. For federal purposes, you must continue to use your passport.
Is it safe to apply for the AB-60 license if I am undocumented?
For the most part, it appears that applying for the AB-60 license will not expose undocumented immigrants to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), however DHS does have the ability to access DMV information in some circumstances. Individuals who have outstanding warrants or prior removal orders should consider waiting to apply until it is better known to what extent the DMV will be sharing information with DHS.
If you have any questions regarding whether you should apply for your driver’s license, it is a good idea to speak to an immigration attorney.
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