Immigrants line up at Central Coast DMVs
January 5, 2015
Central Coast offices of the California Department of Motor Vehicles are booked up with appointments for undocumented immigrants seeking driver’s licenses.
Assembly Bill 60, California’s law granting immigrants who entered the country illegally the ability to receive driver’s licenses, took effect on Thursday. Some local DMV offices opened on Friday with long lines of immigrants waiting outside.
Those calling the DMV office Monday morning were met with a message noting a two-hour wait to speak with an employee. At the Paso Robles office, visitors had to endure long lines. San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles are the only locations of DMV offices in the county.
In Northern Santa Barbara County, there are single DMV offices in Santa Maria and Lompoc. Immigrants began lining up outside the Lompoc office around 5 a.m. on Friday.
Statewide, the DMV is expecting 1.4 million people to apply for licenses under the new law. The agency is adding staff at offices across the state to handle the workload.
Supporters of the new law expect the number of insured drivers to increase and the amount of hit-and-runs to decrease. Opponents point to other states that have implemented similar legislation and argue that many out-of-state immigrants have used false identification to obtain licenses.