California issues 110,000 licenses to illegal immigrants
February 27, 2015
Over the first seven weeks of 2015, California issued 110,000 driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. [LA Times]
Assembly Bill 60, California’s law granting immigrants who entered the country illegally the ability to receive driver’s licenses, took effect at the beginning of January. Long lines quickly formed at DMV locations across the state, including at local offices.
The DMV estimates that more than 1.5 million people will apply for the special driver’s licenses in coming years. The licenses granted to illegal immigrants are not acceptable for federal purposes, such as boarding an airplane.
California is now one of 10 states that allow undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses.
Applicants must pass both a written exam and a behind-the-wheel test in order to obtain licenses. The DMV does not track passage rates, with the exception of those for written exams.
In January, 40 percent of those who took the written test in Spanish passed. The passage rate for those who took the test in English was 51 percent. Both figures apply to all applicants, regardless of their immigration status.
The DMV has addressed the influx of applicants by opening four new offices and adding 900 employees. Lawmakers also increased the agency’s budget by $141 million.