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DMV proposes new rules for licenses for immigrants

DMV officials released proposed regulations for issuing California driver’s licenses for immigrants living in the country illegally.

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Reporting from Sacramento

Days after federal officials rejected the design for a California driver’s license for those in the country illegally, the state Department of Motor Vehicles on Friday released proposed regulations for issuing the licenses.

The rules would allow licenses to be issued to those who can provide proof of identity with a foreign passport, national identification card, foreign electoral card or birth certificate among others. Applicants must also show proof of California residency, which could include a rental or lease agreement, property deed, and medical or school records.

The applicants would also have to meet all other licensing requirements, including passing the written and behind-the-wheel driving exams, according to DMV director Jean Shiomoto.

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“DMV is committed to successfully implementing this new law to increase safety on California roads and protect the high level of security in our licensing and identity verification procedures,” Shiomoto said in a statement. “We will carefully consider the public comments we receive on these proposed regulations and make revisions as necessary.”

If the applicant cannot provide an official government document proving their identity, a secondary process would be available in which DMV investigators will interview the subject and attempt to verify the applicant’s identity with other documents, including school records. The proposed new rules would be subject to public hearings before finalized in October, officials said.

The new procedures, including the interview with those lacking proper ID, drew criticism Friday from one group that opposes providing driver’s licenses to those in the country illegally. “It’s quite preposterous,” said Robin Hvidston, (CQ) executive director of the Claremont group We The People Rising. “It’s going to be rampant with fraud.”

Last year, the state Legislature and governor approved AB 60, which will provide driver’s licenses to California residents in the country illegally to improve safety on the state’s roads.

The law mandates that applicants prove identity and legal presence to obtain a driver’s license, and the proposed rules released Friday define the categories of documents DMV will accept to verify the identity and California residence of future applicants.

DMV anticipates adding to the list of acceptable documents, including allowing a Mexican consular card as a sole means of proving identity.

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“These proposed regulations detail how applicants will be able to prove identity and California residency to obtain a driver license under AB 60,” Shiomoto said. “Although these regulations are not final, we encourage future applicants to begin gathering documents now that they will use to prove identity and residency.”

The licenses are to be issued at least by Jan. 1, 2015. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security earlier this week said the licenses have to be redesigned to look distinctive from those issued to citizens.

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