California Grants Thousands Of Driver’s Licenses To Immigrants Under New Law

People wait in line outside of the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Los Angeles, California. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

In 2015, California granted more than a half-million driver's licenses under the AB60 law, giving the identifications to immigrants who may be in the U.S. undocumented. The Department of Motor Vehicles recently announced that out of 830,000 applications, 605,000 licenses were issued since Assembly Bill 60 took effect January of last year, the Associated Press reports.

“DMV committed to successfully implementing this new law to increase safety on California’s roads by putting licensed drivers behind the steering wheel,” said DMV Director Jean Shiomoto. “One year after AB 60 implementation there are 605,000 more drivers on the road who have passed all testing requirements and demonstrated their knowledge of California’s rules of the road.” 

AB60 was supported by immigrants, immigration advocates and some traffic safety experts. It allows people to get a license by using identification from their home countries and it should be accepted by state and local law enforcement in the same way any other California ID or driver's license would be accepted. The document cannot be used for certain federal purposes, such as to enter restricted areas of federal facilities.


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Juliana Barrera

Juliana Barrera started her mass communications career in the entertainment business at Estefan Enterprises, where she successfully participated in a variety of projects related to production, marketing and public relations for the company. She worked for three years as a writer and editor at La Vox Media group, the platform for an independent voice for Hispanic America. Additionally, she completed an internship at VIACOM  engaging audiences through pro-social initiatives. 

Juliana is a graduate student from Florida International University, her major is mass communications  and she has a minor in psychology. Her work has been published by HuffPost LatinoVoices, Latin Times, VOXXI, politic 365, La Opinión and others.