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POLICY UPDATE

DRIVER'S LICENSES - WHAT'S IN AB 60 ? 

September 25, 2013

As you know, the passage of AB 60 has generated a great deal of excitement and discussion. A flurry of changes was made to AB 60 in the minutes before the legislature approached its official deadline to amend bills for the current session.

On September 6th, there were very concerning amendments to the bill which failed to include confidentiality and privacy protections, oddly specified that the driver’s license would not be identification, included markings on the front and back of the license, and failed to include immigrant rights groups in the implementation process. 

With strong community support demanding that a bill pass this year, and many immigrant rights groups and labor unions urging legislators to pass a stronger bill, the final version that made its way to the Governor’s desk included many positive changes amended into the bill by special procedures on September 12th

Over the next year, CIPC will be working with many of our partners on implementation efforts to ensure that the interests of community members are represented as the Department of Motor Vehicles conducts an emergency rule making process before issuing licenses to the undocumented.

Please visit CIPC’s Driver’s License Toolbox which will provide a variety of information about the implementation process, Frequently Asked Questions, and Fact Sheets.

WHAT'S IN AB 60:

Implementation Timeline:

AB 60 officially goes into effect on January 1, 2015. However, if the director of DMV determines that the department is prepared to begin issuing driver’s licenses on a date sooner than January 1, 2015, the director shall execute a declaration stating that it will be ready to begin issuing licenses under AB 60 earlier.

Fees and Costs:

AB 60 specifies that additional fees may be required by an undocumented applicant to offset reasonable administrative costs of implementation by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Unfortunately, at this time there has not been a determination of what the cost will be for these applicants. These additional fees will apply only until June 30, 2017.

Distinguishing Markings:

There will be distinguishing markings on the front and back of the license to satisfy the requirements of an unenforced federal law known as the REAL ID Act of 2005. This is a big difference from the uniform licenses issued to all residents in both Washington and New Mexico regardless of immigration status.

On the front of the license, it is the intent of the administration to include a “DP” instead of “DL” in the same size and font, in front of a person’s driver’s license number. On the back, there will be a statement that will read “This card is not acceptable for official federal purposes. This license is issued only as a license to drive a motor vehicle. It does not establish eligibility for employment, voter registration, or public benefits.”

Further, AB 60 specifies that if DHS finds that these markings do not meet the specifications of the REAL ID Act, the Department of Motor Vehicle can make further changes to the extent necessary to meet those specifications.

Affidavit Requirement:

AB 60 requires an undocumented applicant to sign an affidavit that he or she is ineligible for a Social Security Number and that he or she is unable to submit satisfactory proof that their presence in the United States is authorized under federal law. The bill prevents this affidavit from being subject to public records requests by the public, but there isn’t anything in the language to protect this affidavit from getting in the hands of the federal government or its agencies. Additionally, there is language in this section to protect the affidavit from being used to consider an individual’s citizenship or immigration status as a basis for a criminal investigation, arrest, or detention.  

Proof of Identity and California Residency: 

Emergency regulations will be adopted by the Department of Motor Vehicles for the purposes of (1) identifying documents acceptable for the purposes of proving identity and California residency, (2) procedures for verifying the authenticity of the documents, (3) issuance of a temporary license pending verification of any document’s authenticity, and (4) hearings to appeal a denial of a license or for a temporary license. Currently, there is a long list of documents in AB 60 for proving CA residency and identity, which includes:

·    a valid, unexpired consular ID or passport;

·    an original birth certificate;

·    a home utility bill, lease, or rental agreement a marriage license or divorce certificate;

·    a foreign federal electoral photo, a foreign driver’s license, a deed or title to real property;

·    a property tax bill issued within the previous 12 months;

·    an income tax return;

·    and many others.

For a full list of documents listed in the bill, see, List of Documents.

These emergency regulations will be developed by the DMV in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), which establishes rulemaking procedures and standards for state agencies in California. The requirements set forth in the APA are designed to provide the public with a meaningful opportunity to participate in adoption of state regulations and to ensure that regulations are clear, necessary and legally valid. Additionally, AB 60 specifies that regulations will be developed in consultation with law enforcement representatives, immigrant rights representatives, labor representatives, and other stakeholders. CIPC will be working closely with the DMV to ensure that the best interests of community members are taken into account as part of the implementation process.

Anti-Discrimination:

AB 60 specifies that it shall be a violation of law, including, but not limited to, a violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, to discriminate against an individual who holds or presents a driver’s license issued under this new section of the vehicle code. That means that anyone who faces discrimination as a result of presenting a marked license may initiate a lawsuit under Unruh or other anti-discrimination laws, either federal or state, as a result of that discrimination.  To monitor potential discrimination, AB 60 requires the California Research Bureau to compile and submit a report to the Legislature and the Governor about any incidents of discrimination perpetrated on holders of marked licenses.

Confidentiality and Privacy:

Under AB 60, none of the information collected will be a public record, and the DMV shall not disclose any of the information, except as what’s required by law. Advocates will work to strengthen these protections through the regulatory process.

Have a question? Email us at driverslicense@caimmigrant.org


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