Toolkit | Access to Driver’s Licenses

Toolkit | Access to Driver’s Licenses



General Fact Sheets, Talking Points, and Analysis

Why Denying Driver’s Licenses to Undocumented Immigrants Harms Public Safety and Makes Our Communities Less Secure

Explains how denying licenses to undocumented immigrants increases both uninsurance rates and the number of unlicensed drivers and also undermines effective law enforcement. (NILC)

SB 251: The Colorado Road and Community Safety Act

Summarizes the bill’s major provisions and lists benefits that would be derived if the bill becomes law. (Driver’s Licenses for All*)

SB13-251: The Colorado Road and Community Safety Act

Answers to frequently asked questions about SB13-251, a list of supporters, copies of news articles, and an open letter of support from Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle. (Licencias Para Todos*)

What the New Driver’s License Law Means (SB 957)

Information about eligibility, application rules, and implementation. (Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights*)

SB 957: Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions about SB 957. Answers explain features of Illinois’s “temporary visitor driver’s license” (TVDL) and requirements for applying for it, discuss issues related to issuing TVDLs to some state residents (e.g., costs, potential fraud, security, REAL ID compliance, insurance), and discuss the ways in which people issued the TVDL could use it. (Highway Safety Coalition*)

Comparison of States with Similar Driver’s License Statutes: New Mexico, Utah, and Washington

Compares facts and provides statistics under these headings: “Rates of Uninsured Motorists,” “Accident Rates,” “Fatal Crashes,” “Savings Associated,” and “Fraud Prevention.” (Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights*)

Immigrants and Taxes

Discusses how immigrants contribute by paying taxes. (CASA de Maryland*)

Finding Common Ground: A Balanced Approach to Licensing Immigrant Drivers in New Mexico

Summary of New Mexico Senate compromise driver’s license bill, a bill to amend New Mexico’s driver’s license law in such a way as to counter the governor’s effort to repeal the law. (Somos Un Pueblo Unido*)

Misdirected Policy: New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez’s Campaign to Repeal the State’s Driver’s License Law

Discusses New Mexico governor’s efforts to repeal the state’s driver’s license law. (NILC)

Report of the Study Committee on Migrant Worker Access to Driver’s Licenses and Non-Driver Identification Cards

Report of legislative study committee recommending expanding access to driver’s licenses and identification cards to individuals regardless of immigration status, including in particular a recommendation that such licenses and identification cards appear identical to those issued to Vermont residents able to establish lawful presence.

Driver’s Licenses and National Security

Talking Points: National Security and Driver’s Licenses

Makes the case that restricting access to driver’s licenses actually weakens national security. (CASA de Maryland*)

Protecting Privacy

Backgrounder: Face Recognition and Driver’s License Photo–Sharing

This backgrounder provides information about U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s use of DMV photos and states’ face-recognition technology as well as some steps that states can take to restrict access to photos in their DMV databases and to limit how photos can be used. (NILC)

Protecting State Driver’s License Information

Outlines some steps that states have taken and that advocates can pursue to protect confidential information provided to their departments of motor vehicles. (NILC)

Resource List: Immigration Enforcement–related Information Sharing and Privacy Protection

The resources in this list provide background information on the complex and opaque web of databases, related systems, and information-sharing mechanisms that facilitate federal immigration enforcement, as well measures that protect the confidentiality of immigrants’ personal information. These databases, systems, and mechanisms depend on the participation of private companies and on the entanglement of state and local law enforcement or licensing agencies with federal immigration and law enforcement agencies. The list, which includes issue briefs and reports as well as articles, will be updated as more resources become available. (NILC)

Virginia DMV Data Sharing with ICE: How Does It Happen and How HB2163 Can Stop It (PDF)

The organizations issuing this report conducted a yearlong investigation to determine how the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) shares and sells its data. The DMV maintains one of the largest databases about Virginia residents, containing sensitive personal information such as Social Security numbers, dates of birth, photos, and home addresses. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE’s) access to this information puts drivers who obtain a Virginia non-REAL ID license at risk that it will be used to target them for raids and deportation. The report describes the direct and indirect mechanisms through which ICE can obtain DMV data. These mechanisms include access through the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN) — a criminal justice platform operated by the Virginia State Police — and its portal connecting with the Nlets information sharing network; direct requests by ICE to the DMV for information through case-by-case or batch requests, or (in the past) through direct access to the DMV’s driver query system; and by ICE purchasing data from private companies that buy the data from the DMV. The report describes certain stopgap measures that the Virginia DMV has taken to limit sharing and repurposing of personal information, and supports codification of those measures in legislation. The report describes how proposed legislation would limit use of DMV data for immigration enforcement. (Legal Aid Justice Center, Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights, Just Futures Law, and ACLU People Power Fairfax, February 3, 2021)

Campaign Websites with Additional Information

Driver’s Licenses (section of CIPC website)

Information and resources compiled and curated by the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC).

Driver’s License for All Coloradans

Iowa Safe Roads


* This organization gave NILC permission to upload this item to NILC’s website.