SACRAMENTO—DMV today announced that it will begin the process of implementing AB 60 (Alejo)—the new law requiring DMV to issue driver licenses to undocumented persons—by drafting new regulations and preparing field offices to process new applications. The new law becomes operative by January 1, 2015.
“This law will improve public safety for all Californians by helping ensure that undocumented persons pass a written and driving test and obtain proof of insurance and a license before driving their vehicles in California,” said DMV Chief Deputy Director Jean Shiomoto. “Thanks to AB 60, we believe more drivers will be safer on California roads.”
To implement the new law, DMV will adopt regulations that will detail how applicants can prove identity and California residency. In drafting the regulations, DMV will follow rules set forth by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). In general, this process will involve public notice of draft regulations, a public comment period, and a final decision by OAL. DMV will immediately begin this regulatory process by consulting with stakeholders and drafting proposed regulations.
DMV will also propose a design for the license; however the design must be reviewed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for compliance with federal law. DMV’s proposal will look similar to current licenses while complying with the new law by, for example, having the abbreviation “DP” for driving privilege, rather than “DL” for driver license. The new law explicitly prohibits discrimination based on this license. The new law also explicitly prohibits using the license for criminal investigation, arrest or detention based on immigration status.
In addition to drafting new regulations and designing the license, DMV will also begin preparing to process the additional applications. DMV currently processes approximately 27 million transactions per year in its offices, including about 10 million driver license related transactions. DMV also processes more than 12 million online transactions a year, such as renewing vehicle registrations and driver licenses, change of address, and notice of release of liability. DMV estimates that roughly 1.4 million undocumented persons could apply for driver licenses over the next three years once the program is implemented.
DMV encourages future applicants for a driver’s license, to prepare for the written exam by studying the California Driver Handbook available on the DMV webpage at www.dmv.ca.gov. The website also features sample tests that could be useful for the applicants. The California Driver Handbook is available in 10 languages at all DMV field offices: English, Armenian, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
With the DMV Now app – applicants can also start preparing to take the written driver’s license exam by taking sample tests, watching DMV driving videos, finding local DMV field offices and getting important DMV alerts. DMV also has a YouTube channel where drivers can find useful and informative videos to help hone driving skills and learn the rules of the road.