Having a driver’s license can open up a whole new world of freedom and opportunities. Those without one are often at the mercy of the schedule of public transport or relying on others to get where they need to go. For those who immigrate to the Los Angeles area illegally, obtaining a driver’s license has not been possible.
California Assemblyman Luis Alejo would like to see this changed. He has sponsored a bill that would allow anyone living in California to get a driver’s license, regardless of whether or not they have a Social Security number. The bill was recently passed in the state Assembly and will now go to the Senate. If it is passed there and approved by the governor, it will take effect at the start of 2015.
Alejo hopes the bill will allow immigrants to operate vehicles safely in order to get them to and from work. His goal is to allow them to drive without feeling the threat of being deported or facing fines for not having a proper driver’s license.
Under the terms of the bill, those who do not have a Social Security number and wish to obtain a driver’s license would need to prove their identity by providing a birth certificate and proof of residency by showing a utility bill or lease with their address on it.
If you do not have a Social Security number and would like to learn more about how this possible change in the laws regarding obtaining a driver’s license may affect you, you may wish to speak with an immigration attorney.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Assembly bill would allow driver’s licenses for more immigrants,” Chris Megerian, May 29, 2013