Driver’s License for Undocumented: ‘‘Green Light Bill’’


Hans Pennink

FILE – In this June 17, 2019 file photo, a protester holds a sign as members of the state Assembly speak in favor of legislation of the Green Light Bill, granting undocumented immigrant driver’s licenses during a rally at the state Capitol, in Albany, N.Y. The bill passed making New York the 13th state to authorize licenses for drivers without legal immigration status. On Monday, Dec. 16 license applicants without a valid Social Security number will be able to apply for a driver’s license. An estimated 265,000 immigrants without legal documents are expected to get driver’s licenses within three years, more than half of them in New York City, according to the Fiscal Policy Institute.(AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)

Pedro Cordova Martinez

According to New York laws, there is a new law that will be on benefit for the undocumented people in New York to get a driver’s license. This law was presented on December 14th, giving the opportunity to the undocumented people to get this benefit. Based on CNN, there is an estimate that there are more than 882,000 New Yorkers over the age of 16 without a legal presence in the U.S. who may be eligible for licenses as a result of the law’s passage in June. New York became the 13th state to authorize driver’s licenses for immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally under legislation approved by lawmakers.


Adding on, people who want to apply for this opportunity have to follow some indications such as, needing to show a valid passport, certain identification documents provided by a foreign consulate, a foreign driver’s license that is not more than 24 months after expiration. In addition, the law requires the following steps to obtain the license: Pass the written exam, take a driving course, and a practical test. Lastly, they must pay 75 dollars for the procedure.


The law was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in June, which expands the forms of identification that can be used by applicants to obtain a driver’s license in the state. At the time of its adoption, the law was heralded by supporters as a way to allow undocumented immigrants a way to live and work in the state without having to fear deportation.

Based on the news for the Democrat Led state Senate, 3,329 voted in favor of the bill in June. After several hours of debate, it was then signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat. However, the move has very controversial tension between the parties.