In 2013, AB 60 was enacted into law. This bill allowed undocumented immigrants in California to get a driver’s license. The law went into effect on January 1, 2015. In just three years, we may be about to hit a major milestone.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has issued over 905,000 AB 60 licenses. The rate licenses are being issued has been declining. However, we may still hit the 1 million licenses by the end of the year.
Providing undocumented immigrants with a driver’s license isn’t the only benefit of AB 60. Officers can’t report undocumented drivers with an AB 60 license to federal immigration officials.
Benefits of AB 60
A big reason for enacting AB 60 was to make California’s roads safer. That seems to be what is happening. A study conducted by Stanford University found 7% fewer hit-and-run accidents after the bill went into effect. That equates to about 4,000 fewer accidents each year.
There has also been an increase in the number of organ donors in the state. Some people believe this increase is due do the passage of AB 60.
Applying for an AB 60 license
Undocumented immigrants can apply for a license at the DMV. You must be able to prove your identity and your residency in California to receive a license. Applicants need to pass any required driving exams and pay the application fee.
To prove your identity, you may need to provide a valid passport, national identification card or consular card. The documentation needed depends on your national origin. To prove residency, acceptable documentation may include bank statements, utility bills and insurance documents.
An AB 60 license does have some limitations. It can’t be used for identification purposes. It may also not protect you when driving outside of California. If you plan to drive out of state, you should review that state’s immigration policies.
AB 60 was a step in the right direction in helping provide a greater number of rights to undocumented immigrants. If you ever feel your rights are in jeopardy, you may benefit from seeking legal counsel.