Governor Jerry Brown Signs Driver’s License Bill

October 3, 2013

Gebe Martinez, [email protected],703-731-9505

Inclusive Measure Puts California Back in the Driver’s Seat for Immigration Reform

Bill Signed by Governor Brown Will Improve Public Safety, Allow Immigrants to Apply for Licenses Regardless of Their Status

LOS ANGELES — California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 60, a driver’s license bill, into law earlier today. The measure, which will allow California residents who do not have proof that their presence in the U.S. is authorized to apply for a driver’s license, received bipartisan support in the California legislature. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“After many years of advocacy on this issue, including support from law enforcement leaders, businesses, insurance companies, labor, farm workers, legislators, and immigrant rights, civil rights, and faith-based organizations, Governor Jerry Brown has recognized the public safety benefits of allowing all Californians—regardless of immigration status—to apply for a state driver’s license. The Golden State will join ten other states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in understanding that, when all drivers can be tested, licensed, and insured, we’re better off as a community.

“The new law isn’t perfect. Markings on the license will put a driver who presents it at risk that police and others could assume that the person is living in this country without proper permission. These markings could lead to racial profiling or other discriminatory behavior. But the law includes helpful antidiscrimination and privacy protections that we plan to monitor to ensure that all residents can drive their children safely to school, to doctor’s appointments and work, to take care of other daily needs, and to continue contributing to the state.

“We firmly believe that all people living and laboring in California should be able to travel freely, without fear that a broken taillight may lead to deportation. This bill brings us a crucial step closer to achieving this vision.

“Our federal legislators and policymakers should follow in the footsteps of California, and seven other states that passed similar measures this year, by recognizing that immigrants, regardless of their immigration status, are integral members of our communities and economy. Like Governor Brown, we hope that this law sends a message to Congress to enact federal immigration reform, which will allow immigrants to fully participate in our democracy. These commonsense policies at the state and federal levels will benefit all of us.”

More information about immigrants’ access to driver’s licenses is available here.

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