Proposed rules for drivers licenses for undocumented persons announced

The Secretary of State has proposed rules for “temporary visitor drivers licenses” (TVDL).  They seem very cumbersome and I don’t know if many people will be able or willing to go through all this for a license.

From The Flinn Report:

The SECRETARY OF STATE proposed amendments to “Issuance of Licenses” (92 Ill. Adm. Code 1030; 37 Ill Reg 13339) implementing Public Act 97-1157 that provides for temporary visitor driver’s licenses (TVDL) and in-struction permits to be issued to un-documented immigrants…To apply for a TVDL, an un-documented immigrant must make an appointment at a designated SOS facility and present a valid passport or unexpired consular identification document from his or her country of origin (rather than the U.S.-government-issued photo identification required of legal immigrants). Applicants also must submit acceptable documents verifying their written signature, name and date of birth, current Illinois residence address, and Illinois residency of more than 1 year. Examples of acceptable and unacceptable documents are listed. A verification of residency for and a letter from the Social Security Administration verifying the applicant’s ineligibility for a Social Security number are also required. All TVDLs must include the license holder’s picture and will be mailed to the applicant directly from SOS instead of being issued at driver’s services facilities.  Applicants for TVDLs or temporary visitor’s instruction permits are subject to the same testing requirements as other driver’s license or permit applicants. Unmarried applicants underage 18 are subject to general requirements for parental consent, instructional permits and behind-the-wheel instruction prior to receiving a license.  Male TVDL applicants ages 18-25 are not exempt from the general requirement of registration with the Selective Service system. TVDLs expire 3 years from the date of issuance (sooner for applicants age 81 and older) and are not renewable; upon expiration, TVDL holders must reapply for new licenses and submit all necessary documents again. Those affected by this rulemaking include undocumented immigrants seeking driver’s licenses
and businesses who employ them in duties that involve driving.
Questions/requests for copies/comments through 9/30/13: Brenda Glahn, SOS, 298 Howlett Building, Springfield
IL 62756, e-mail:TVDLrules@ilsos.net
Thanks to Springfield attorney Theodore Harvatin for providing this link.

Immigration bill targets repeat DUI offenders who are undocumented

From ABC News:

When an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala hit and killed an 8-year-old girl and her mother in 2009, some people in the town of Brewster, New York, made the debate about the man’s immigration status.

The assailant, Conses Garcia-Zacarias, was driving his Ford F-350 without a license and his blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit.

“This illegal alien criminal, by actions of his own choosing, took the lives of two of our neighbors and friends,” Ed Kowalski, an area resident and a member of a local conservative organization, said about the incident in 2010. “The DWI aspects of these deaths are only half of the

story; sadly, the problem of criminal activity among the illegal alien population in our area can only be addressed when our elected officials recognize the scope of the problem and address it in a uniform, consistent way.”

This sort of attitude — linking immigration status and drunk driving — doesn’t just happen on the local level.

An immigration reform bill that passed in the Senate last week includes a provision aimed at “habitual drunk drivers.” Any individual with three or more drunk driving offenses in the U.S. would be deportable and barred from reentering the country, if the bill eventually becomes law.

However, immigrants aren’t more likely to drive under the influence than native-born Americans, according to a 2008 study by the National

Institutes of Health (NIH).

The study looked at Hispanics born in the U.S. and abroad. The findings: that birthplace wasn’t a factor when it came to drunk driving, either over the short term or the long term.

Unlicensed driving, however, is significantly more dangerous than driving without a license. And most states don’t allow undocumented immigrants to apply for a license. So in that sense, there is a link to immigration policy.

People who were driving with an invalid license, had no known license, or whose license status could not be determined accounted for 20 percent of fatal crashes from 2001 to 2005, according to “Unlicensed to Kill,” a 2008 report by AAA.

Add alcohol or drug use to the equation, and you could have a very dangerous driver on the road. The case in New York shows that.

Governor Quinn signs law allowing undocumented persons to get driver’s licenses

Well, to use the Vice President’s expression, this is a BFD.

In my almost 20 years of practice, I have seen some major changes to Illinois traffic laws, such as making it a crime (instead of a traffic offense) to drive without insurance, without a license, or speed more than 25 miles over the limit (coming this summer to a highway near you!); lowering the “legal limit” for DUIs, and eliminating multiple supervisions for DUIs.  But allowing undocumented persons to get a driver’s license is definitely the biggest.

And I had not heard one word about this being discussed until after the days after the November presidential election, when the consensus opinion of the chattering classes became that Republicans lost in large part because they were losing immigrant voters, particularly Hispanics.  Immediately after that, Illinois Republicans joined Democrats to pass this bill, and now it is law.

According to the Chicago Tribune:

Called temporary visitor driver’s licenses, the permits will vary from traditional licenses several ways. Most noticeably, they will be visually different, with a blue background as opposed to [a] red one.

The cards will be marked “not valid for identification” and cannot be used for things like boarding airplanes, voting or purchasing a gun. The licenses will only be valid for three years instead of four years, like traditional licenses. After three years, the individual would have to go through the process again.

To qualify for a license, an applicant must prove they have lived in Illinois for a least a year and show that they are ineligible for a Social Security card. Documents that will be accepted include a copy of a lease, utility bills and a valid passport or consular identification card.

Drivers must also pass vision, written and road tests and pay a $30 fee. In order for the license to remain valid, a driver also will be required to get insurance. If a person with a temporary visitor’s license is caught driving without insurance, they will be ticketed for both driving without insurance as well as driving without a license.

People who want to apply for the licenses must first make an appointment at one of eight designated facilities across the state. Licenses will not be issued on the spot but only after the state can verify application information and perform a facial recognition search against other databases.

The permits will not be available for 10 months, which was requested by Secretary of State Jesse White in order to have adequate time to prepare for implementation of the new law.