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Assembly Approves Driver Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants


The state Assembly has passed a bill on a 53 to 20 vote that allows people without a Social Security Number to apply for a state driver license. Democratic Assemblyman Luis Alejo says the bill will reassure undocumented immigrants.

“They don’t want to live fear that, on a morning taking their children to school, they might get pulled over and have their vehicle taken away or perhaps taken to county jail because they have no have identification,” he says. “ Or, even perhaps, even worse, being deported for something so simple as not having a drivers license.”

Alejo says everyone benefits by making sure all drivers are qualified.

But Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly says the change could put California at odds with federal law.

“When the document is indistinguishable, and takes us out of compliance with the REAL ID Act, at some point you’re going to be able to board a plane with that document,” he says.  

Several other states have similar laws. 

The measure will now move on to the Senate.


Katie Orr

Health Care Reporter

Katie Orr covers health policy for Capital Public Radio. She received her Masters in Political Science from San Diego State University. In her spare time Katie enjoys wine tasting and shopping, though she tries not to combine the two.  Read Full Bio