On Monday, Dec. 15, the San Fernando Police Department will host a Community Forum regarding AB 60, the new law that will make driver’s licenses available to undocumented immigrants in California starting Jan. 1.
The event will feature experts from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) who will provide information and answer questions related with obtaining a driver license.
The DMV, which hired 900 new employees and recently opened a service center in Granada Hills for first-time applicants only in anticipation of the surge in driver’s license applications, estimates that the law would benefit some 1.4 million people in the state.
AB60, or the Safe and Responsible Drivers Act, requires that undocumented immigrants go through the same steps everyone else does to get a license. They’ll take a written and vision test: if they pass they’ll get their permit and then they’ll take a behind-the-wheel test, and if they pass that they will get a license.
This license will have some distinctive marks, however, as required by the federal government. On the front, it will say “Federal Limits Apply.” On the back it will read: “This card is not acceptable for official federal purposes,” and that it can only be used as a license to drive.
California becomes the 11th state to allow undocumented immigrants to get a driver’s license. It will cost the standard fee of $33. And, like all drivers, undocumented immigrants are required to have insurance.
In order to get a license, undocumented immigrants must show proof of California residency, fingerprints and proper identification.
Identification and proof of California residence can take on many forms.
Mexican citizens can use one of these three identity documents: a Mexican passport issued in 2008 or later, a 2013 Mexican Electoral Card or the Mexican Consular Card from 2006 or 2014.
People from other countries can show their country’s passport, a birth certificate and/or another type of national identification. They can show a rental contract, or an energy or water bill as proof of California residency.
Undocumented immigrants can already call to make an appointment to obtain a driver’s license starting in January. Due to heavy call volumes, the DMV encourages people to make the appointment online at www.dmv.ca.gov.
DMV officials are also encouraging people to prepare for the license tests.
“Our commitment is to successfully implement this law to increase safety on California roads and protect the high level of security in our licensing and identity verification process,” said DMV Director Jean Shiomoto in a press release.
“Californians planning to apply for a new driver license under AB 60 should study for their exams and gather the required documents for proving identity and residency.”
The Dec. 15 forum takes place from 6:30 p.m. to (;30 p.m. in the San Fernando Middle School Auditorium, located 130 N. Brand Blvd. in San Fernando.