The California Department of Motor Vehicles is turning to Nevada for advice on issuing driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.
Nevada planned for the roll-out of Driver’s Authorization Cards for months, talking to Mexican and El Salvadoran Embassies, updating Spanish study guides, hiring translators and 18 employees.
But when the state offered the cards in January wait times doubled. 40,000 undocumented immigrants have applied for the cards and only 15,000 have passed the test.
California DMV administrators recently invited David Fierro of the Nevada DMV to Sacramento to tell 75 managers about the experience.
“I mean California’s job that they have ahead of them is massive and it is going to be a colossal effort, now they are hiring from my understanding is 1,000 new employees and opening five new offices," says Fierro.
Fierro says one of the unexpected challenge was having enough translators. Nevada has since certified 600 new translators to handle demand. Embassies and some colleges in California are now offering classes to help undocumented immigrants pass the test.