CO: Drivers' Licenses Available to Immigrants Regardless of Status

Colorado's recently passed law allowing immigrants to obtain drivers' licenses without regard to their immigration status is now in effect. The process is by appointment only. So far, more than 9,500 appointments have been scheduled.

The law, SB 251, was passed last year. The official announcement is here. It applies to the undocumented, and those with only temporary legal status. There are five offices set up to issue the licenses: Denver, Aurora, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and Grand Junction. The requirements:

[The undocumented] must present documents like a utility bill to prove they've lived in Colorado the previous two years, in addition to an identification number they've used to pay taxes. They must also show a passport or other identification from their home country. [More...]

Driving and identification are the only benefits.

The cards are marked to say they can't be used for voting or to obtain federal benefits.

Colorado Road and Community Safety Act (CO-RCSA SB251), enacted as C.R.S 42-2-501-510

Telemundo has been featuring this story on its local news station all week (during commercials of Senor de los Cielos 2." Unfortunately, some of our local news stations like CBS have been referring to the applicants as "illegal immigrants."

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    Major Benefit (none / 0) (#1)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 01:29:24 PM EST
    A valid drivers license is needed to buy insurance.

    Uninsured motorists, here in Houston, are a huge problem, and not having the ability, even if you have the cash, to purchase insurance is even more serious.

    It not only increases everyone's rates, it puts people on the road who could get seriously hurt and not have any coverage for their injuries, especially ones that are long term and not their fault.  It's not fair to people with insurance and not fair to people who want to buy it but can't because they aren't suppose to be on the road because they aren't citizens.

    IMO that is a bigger advantage to holding a drivers license than being legal to drive.

    I just like the idea (none / 0) (#2)
    by jbindc on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 12:11:05 PM EST
    That everyone driving on the road was at least on notice and had to pass a test with regards to the rules of the road.

    Ignorantia legis neminem excusat.

    "Ignorance of the law excuses no one."


    Agreed. (none / 0) (#4)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 01:19:17 PM EST
    DMV report adds to license debate
    Findings suggest that allowing illegal immigrants to become certified drivers could reduce fatal accidents.
    January 16, 2013|Ben Poston

        Unlicensed drivers in California -- the vast majority of whom are illegal immigrants -- are nearly three times as likely to cause a fatal crash as licensed drivers, according to a study by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

    Loopholes abound (none / 0) (#3)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 12:50:23 PM EST
    Loopholes abound

    There's no shortage of loopholes that enable unlicensed drivers to get auto insurance. Here's a look three of the most common:

    1. Some states, such as Texas, allow unlicensed drivers to buy auto insurance simply to keep their vehicle registrations current. That can save motorists the trouble of re-registering their cars once they do get driver's licenses.

    2. Consumers can buy auto insurance if they don't have a driver's license for health reasons, such as impaired vision, but do have a car title in their name and are listed as the primary driver on an insurance policy. This is a common occurrence among senior citizens. For instance, Illinois and New Hampshire will yank a driver's license from a senior citizen based on a failed driver's test at age 75, but will let the driver maintain auto insurance coverage.

    3. If you've had your driver's license revoked, you may want to keep your auto insurance active for financial reasons. Consumers "want to keep the car covered so that they don't lose their continuity discount," Moraga says, "or to keep their comprehensive and collision coverage in case the car is parked and gets stolen or crashed into by a drunk driver."

    Now undocumenteds can more easily obtain (none / 0) (#5)
    by Juanita Moreno on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 09:47:01 AM EST
    employment, especially in the construction, remodeling, horticulture and maintenance businesses. Having a drivers license is a big advantage in these competitive jobs.

    Working cheaper than the locals... (none / 0) (#6)
    by unitron on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 08:48:19 AM EST
    ...and being in a position where you have no choice but to tolerate abusive employers and unsafe working conditions is also a big advantage.