Public Safety & Justice

D.C. Joins List of Cities Allowing Immigrants Here Illegally to Get Driver's Licenses

November 19, 2013

Starting next year, people living in the nation’s capital who don’t have legal permission to reside in the United States will be able to get driver’s licenses.

Democratic Mayor Vincent Gray signed a bill on Monday that would allow the District of Columbia’s Department of Motor Vehicles to issue licenses to people who can’t prove their immigration status. It would take effect May 1 unless Congress intervenes, which isn’t considered likely.

“The Congress and the White House allegedly are debating immigration reform,” Gray said Monday. “We haven’t seen much movement in that regard, and I’m really proud to be part of the effort to bring about immigration reform here in the District of Columbia.”

The bill creates a two-tiered system of licenses in order to comply with federal law. The licenses for immigrants who can’t prove their legal status would be marked as invalid for federal purposes such as boarding airplanes or entering federal buildings.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.

More from Public Safety & Justice