The state Department of Motor Vehicles convened a hearing in downtown Los Angeles today to gather public input on what types of documents people living in the country illegally will have to provide to obtain a California driver's license under a law set to take effect next year.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 60 in October, allowing immigrants who are not legal residents to apply for licenses that carry the mark DP, or "driver's privilege," which distinguishes them from traditional licenses that bear the mark DL, or driver's license.
But applicants for the DP license will have to provide some proof of identity and proof of California residency. The legislation requires the DMV to develop regulations governing what types of documentation will have to be provided.
The DMV issued proposed regulations in May, suggesting that applicants provide a document such as a foreign passport, federal-government issued identification card or valid consular identification document. It also suggested an expired foreign passport or foreign birth certificate.
The proposed regulations also suggest that applicants could provide a school document, federal application for asylum, marriage license, income tax return or foreign driver's license.
"With these hearings, DMV is taking another step towards making the roads safer for all Californians by identifying the documents that will be accepted as proof of identity and residency by those who will benefit from AB60 and will obtain a California driver's license," DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said.
Another hearing is set for Thursday in Oakland.
At today's hearing at the Junipero Serra Building in downtown Los Angeles, some attendees said they were primarily concerned about such documentation being expensive to obtain.
"I am just wondering and interested in ... the Motor Vehicle Department (is) considering some kind of an ID from a church or a letter to show identification or residency," one speaker said.
Another speaker insisted that the requirements be tight to protect against identity fraud and other security issues.
"Proving one's identify for a driver's license should be as stringent as possible, related to reasons of security," another speaker said.
After considering comments at this week's hearings, the DMV will provide its final proposed regulations to the state Office of Administrative Law.
—City News Service