Illegal immigrants in Connecticut will soon be able to obtain driver’s licenses, under a new program approved by the state legislature in 2013.
Beginning Monday, illegal immigrants can start making appointments to schedule their learner’s permit test, which will then lead to a drivers license or what Connecticut is calling a “Drive Only License,” as it cannot be used for identification purposes or to vote.
On January 2 the state DMV will officially begin the program and start issuing learner’s permits once the applicant passes a vision and knowledge test — which will be administered in either English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Polish, and soon the DMV says, Mandarin.
Applicants will receive a drivers license after 90 days of holding the learner’s permit and a road test. Applicants ages 16 and 17 will have to hold their learner’s permits for longer amounts of time.
According to the AP, eight states already offer driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants and come January of next year Connecticut and California will round the number out to 10 such states.
The license program begins shortly after voters in the blue-state of Oregon rejected the idea in what was the first time citizens have been given the ability to vote on whether to issue drivers licenses to illegal immigrants.
A Connecticut DMV spokesman told the AP that advocacy groups estimate some 200,000 undocumented immigrants live in the state.
“Our goal is to make this work as easily as possible for our undocumented residents who may have been waiting a long time to obtain this credential, which can open many doors for them,” Connecticut spokesman William Seymour told the AP.