Debate Surrounds How to Issue Driving Authorization Cards

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CARSON CITY -- At a DMV hearing, speakers voiced concerns about proposed regulations for how undocumented immigrants may obtain drivers authorization cards. Those seeking the cards must show identity documents from a foreign nation. The DMV said it may require individuals to hire a professional translator so the documents could be presented in English to DMV workers.

"These are people who are in an incredibly vulnerable state because they're in the shadows and I just don't want to see added barriers for people like this," Ivon Padilla-Rodriguez said.

In addition to concerns about the cost of a translator, others said translators could price gouge immigrants.

"There are countless, countless instances of people being taken advantage because they don't have the sophistication when it comes to these kind of transactions," Assemblymember Lucy Flores (D-Las Vegas) said.

However, the Department of Motor Vehicles said there are concerns with technicians or family members of applicants doing the translating.

"Something may be missed if an individual's son is translating for them versus someone who has had that experience translating a variety of different documents from a variety of different languages," Jude Hurin, the DMV's services manager, said.

The Nevada State Legislature approved creating driving authorization cards earlier this year. The proposal had bipartisan support. Nevada will begin issuing the cards in January. Other states, including Utah, have similar programs.

The Department of Motor Vehicles may finalize a proposal for the program later this month.