RI Senate passes bill granting driving privileges to undocumented residents
"We come to a country with a dream, and that's part of our dream- being able to drive around with no fear"
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – The state Senate Thursday evening passed legislation allowing the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to issue driving privilege cards to undocumented immigrants in Rhode Island.
The privilege card is not a valid form of identification, nor can it be used to vote. It only allows those who posses it to drive.
“You cannot use it at the bank, no transactions, you cannot use it to travel on an airplane, it’s a simple drivers license,” said Representative Anastasia Williams.
Privilege cards are available to undocumented residents who pay taxes, can prove residency, and are actively applying for citizenship. Those who were claimed as dependents on an individual tax return within the last 12 months can also be issued an alternative license, regrdless of immigration status.
“We need to ensure that all drivers, regardless of their immigration status, are trained, tested and insured when driving on our roads,” said Senator Frank Ciccone, who sponsored the bill. “This is a safety issue as well as an economic issue.”
The card costs $50 and is valid for two years.
The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.