California Driver’s Licenses to be Available for All

A new state law (A.B. 60) in California will take effect on January 1, 2015, allowing persons who do not have legal immigration status to get a driver’s license in California.

To get the license, the person will need to present adequate proof of their identity, and also proof that they have their residence in California.

At this time, potential applicants can not yet apply, but they can get ready for the change by applying to their countries’ consulate in the U.S. for a valid passport and a consular ID card, as proof of their identity. The passport should be unexpired, and should also be the most recent version issued by their country, so that it will have up to date security protections.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has decided that they also want proof of at least six months of residence in California.
That proof of residence might be:
– a copy of a rental agreement,
-real estate deeds, mortgage bills,
-utility bills,
-school records,
-state or federal tax returns,
-car or boat registrations,
-Post Office change of address notices,
-federal government issued documents,
-property tax bills from the past 12 months; or
-bank/ credit card statements.

Applicants will not need to have a Social Security Number. However, if they don’t, they will have to sign a statement (affidavit) saying that they are not eligible to get a social security number.

A driver’s license is obtained by applying in person to the Department of Motor Vehicles offices (DMV). Website: WWW.DMV.CA.GOV

A person without legal immigration status cannot make the application until after January 1, 2015. There may be a lot of people applying, so there could be a long wait in line at the DMV offices. It will be possible to call ahead for an appointment. The DMV telephone number is 1-800-777-0133.

Steps to apply for a Driver’s License (after 1/1/15):

1. Make sure you have your valid ID and proof of 6 months of residence in California.

2. Like everybody else, applicants will have to pass both a written test and a driving test. To prepare for the written test, get a Driver’s Handbook from the DMV office. This handbook covers all the traffic laws that will be covered on the driving test. You can get the Driver’s Handbook in English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese. You will have to study it in order to be able to pass the test.

3. Go to the local DMV office – or better, call ahead for an appointment.

4. On the day of your written test bring documents with you, plus a check or money for the DMV fees.

Take the written traffic law test. If you pass the test, you will take the eye test there. If you are required to take the driving test, you will also receive a permit that allows you to practice driving to prepare for the driving test.

5. Make an appointment to take the driving test.

6. When you take the driving test, take a car to the test. A driver’s license examiner will be in the car with you during the test.