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46,200 Immigrants Apply for California Driver's License in First Few Days

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In Washington, DC, the hot topic on immigration involves the newly sworn-in Republican Congress and whether they will really continue to alienate Latino voters by pushing for more ways to kill executive action.

But in California, it’s a completely different story, as tens and thousands of immigrants have begun applying and testing for driver’s licenses, as made possible by last year’s California’s Assembly Bill 60.  Ten states plus the District of Columbia allow undocumented immigrants to drive, but California is by far the largest of these efforts.  January 2nd (last Friday) was the first day California immigrants were allowed to apply, and the DMV estimates that 6,189 did so that day.  Three days into the new law, some 46,200 immigrants in the state have applied, out of some 1.4 million expected in the first three years.

Lines at DMVs have been extra-long and applicants have been lining up as early as three hours before offices open.  But immigrants have only expressed hopes that they will pass the test and joy about legally being able to drive.  As NBC Bay Area reported:

“It’s a blessing,” said Roselio Nicholes, who applied for a license at a Department of Motor Vehicles office in San Jose. She told NBC Bay Areathat she is looking forward to being able to drive without fear of being pulled over.

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