Northam signs law authorizing driver privilege cards for undocumented immigrants

Virginia

Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia signs a law granting undocumented immigrants the chance to drive starting January 1, 2021. (Photo: YouTube screengrab)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Governor Ralph Northam virtually signed a law Monday granting undocumented immigrants living in the Commonwealth the privilege to drive starting next year.

Previously, in order to apply for a driver’s license in Virginia, applicants had to provide proof of citizenship or legal presence. In February, Senate Bill 34 — introduced by Senators Scott Surovell and Jennifer Boysko — asked for the removal of citizenship and legal presence requirements when obtaining a driver’s privilege card or ID.

Northam was joined on the signing call by Del. Kathy Tran and Sen. Surovell who worked on House Bill 1211, which is identical to SB34.

Starting January 1, 2021, the Department of Motor Vehicles can issue driver privilege cards to an applicant who meets the following criteria:

  • Has reported income from Virginia sources or been claimed as a dependent on a tax return filed in the Commonwealth in the last 12 months
  • Is not in violation of insurance requirements for the registration of an uninsured motor vehicle

Virginia is the 17th state to grant undocumented immigrants the opportunity to drive.

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