WASHINGTON – D.C.’s Council has voted to allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, Maryland already passed a similar law that goes into effect in January.
In Maryland, the Motor Vehicle Administration is preparing an informational campaign to explain how immigrants without legal documentation can get their driver’s license. The Maryland Highway Safety Act was passed in the final days of Maryland’s General Assembly legislative session.
Buel Young, spokesman for the MVA, explains it’s a multi-step process that begins with applicants getting certification from the Maryland Comptroller’s Office proving that they’ve paid Maryland taxes for the past two years. Next, they would make an appointment with the MVA to get their license: those appointments won’t be available until January. Like other residents, applicants would have to provide one form of proof of identity and proof of residency.
The so-called second tier license would also look different: It would have the phrase “Not acceptable for federal purposes” across the top. Young explains that means it could not be used for things like boarding a plane or entering a federal building.
Young says applicants should not agree to pay anyone who offers to help them go through the application process for a fee. The MVA doesn’t charge for assisting people with the information they need to get their license.
Young says if someone approaches an applicant with the assurance that they can expedite the process for a fee, the applicant should call the state’s Integrity Hotline at 1-800-296-4709.