Illegal Immigrants Are Now Legal Drivers

RENO, NV -- Thursday was a big day for undocumented immigrants. Even though they are not in Nevada legally, as of January 2nd, they could fill out the correct paperwork and drive legally. It's the result of a state bill that aims to make the roads safer.

Undocumented immigrant drivers have always been on the road. That's why law makers called for SB 303.

"This bill is nothing but integrity and will give individuals an opportunity to have those drivers privilege cards and be on the road and be insured," said Governor Sandoval when he signed the bill back on May 31st, 2013.

Born from the bill were driver's authorization cards. They look like a license and provide the same function, but they're not a valid form of identification.

"We have heard estimates that as many as 60,000 people will be applying for the card," said David Fierro, spokesman for the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.

The first of those applicants showed up in droves to DMV offices on Thursday. Many driving-in illegally and leaving with their authorization in hand.

"You don't have that worry that the police are going to pull you over or you are going to have an accident without insurance," said one man who was getting his card.

It's not as simple as just signing up. Applicants have to provide proof of residency, pay about 50 dollars in fees and pass a written test.

If they don't have a license from another state, an in-car test is also required. This ensures that more people know the rules of the road.

"The roads are safer for everyone out there," said Fierro.

The program is already popular among undocumented immigrants, because it doesn't put them at risk of deportation.

"There is language in there that specifically prohibits us from sharing that information with immigration authorities," said Fierro.

Without fear of repercussion, immigrants are more likely to go through the correct channels and take to the road safely.

As a result of this change, more cars are expected to be both registered and insured.


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