Nearly a million undocumented drivers could be licensed in California by the end of the year.
Through June 2017, the Department of
Motor Vehicles has issued approximately 905,000 driver’s licenses under
Assembly Bill 60, the law requiring applicants to prove only their
identity and California residency, rather than their legal presence in
Passed in 2013, after more than 15
years of lobbying by advocates, AB 60 was intended to bolster public
safety and reduce penalties for undocumented immigrants who drive. When
it finally took effect
at the beginning of 2015, making California the 10th state to offer
driver’s licenses to immigrants living in the country illegally, the
response was so immense that it doubled initial expectations.
That pace has since slowed
considerably. The DMV issued about 11,000 AB 60 licenses last month, the
lowest number since the program launched. There have been approximately
83,000 issued in the first half of 2017, only slightly more than March
2015, when the monthly total peaked with 76,000.