The California Department of Motor Vehicles is training some 900 new employees and opening four new license processing centers to deal with the expected onslaught of undocumented immigrants who will be eligible for a driver’s license this new year.
Starting Friday, under a new law requiring the California DMV to provide illegal immigrants driver’s licenses, the state DMV is bracing for the newly eligible applicants.
The law, AB 60, eliminates the requirement that a potential applicant prove legal status in order to obtain a driver’s license.
“Before AB 60, state law required motorists to prove identity and legal presence to obtain a driver license,” the California DMV explains. “Under the new law, motorists who cannot prove legal presence may obtain a license, but must prove identity and California residency—and pass the required vision test, driver license knowledge test, and the behind-the-wheel drive test—to obtain a driver license.”
With the beginning of 2015, California is now one of ten states that offer illegal immigrants drivers license. Over the next three years the state expects 1.4 million illegal immigrants to apply for a drivers license under the new requirements.
“DMV is committed to successfully implementing this new law to increase safety on California roads by putting licensed drivers behind the steering wheel,” DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said in a statement.
In addition to hiring some 900 more employees and opening more DMV centers, the DMV says is has also performed extensive outreach — with nearly 200 workshops and meetings — for potential applicants. It’s also started offering Saturday appointments and allowing applicants to schedule appointments up to 90 days in advance.