Starting Friday, Jan. 2 the California Department of Motor Vehicles will begin issuing driver licenses under Assembly Bill 60 to applicants who can prove identity and California residency, and meet all other licensing requirements pertaining to exams.
AB 60 of 2013 requires the DMV to issue an original driver license to an applicant who is unable to submit satisfactory proof of legal presence in the United States so long as they meet all other qualifications for licensure and provide satisfactory proof of identity and California residency.
The Department held public hearings across the State, reviewing public comments and community input to develop lists of necessary documents that would satisfy proof of identity. Fewer documents will be required for proving identity when they are considered “very secure” and electronically verifiable, according to the DMV.
Documents that can be used to prove identity include the Mexican Passport (issued in 2008 or later), the Mexican Electoral Card (2013 version), or the Mexican Consular Card (2006 and 2014 versions).
Additionally, the new regulations include a secondary review process for applicants who are unable to produce documents to prove identity. With the secondary review process, applicants must interview with DMV Investigative staff in attempt to verify the applicant's identity; California is the first state to offer this type of secondary review process.
AB 60 also requires the department to develop regulations and consult with interested parties in an effort to assist the department in identifying documents that will be acceptable for the purposes of providing documentation to establish identity and residency. As a result of AB 60, it is estimated that there will be an additional 1.4 million applications for drivers licenses during the next three years.
“DMV is committed to successfully implementing this new law to increase safety on California roads by putting licensed drivers behind the steering wheel,” said DMV Director Jean Shiomoto.
“Californians planning to apply for a new driver license under AB 60 should study for their exams and gather the required documents for proving identity and residency.”
Because of the new law, there will be Saturday office hours by appointment for all new driver license applicants at 60 DMV offices starting Jan. 3 and the standard 45-day window to allow customers to schedule DMV appointments in advanced has doubled to 90 days.
Additionally, four drivers license processing centers were opened to increase capacity and process first time driver license applicants by appointment or walk-in service and 900 employees were hired.
Prior to AB 60, California law required drivers to prove identity and legal presence to obtain a driver license; now, motorists who cannot prove legal presence can obtain a license, as long as they can prove identity and California residency in addition to passing required vision, driver license knowledge, and behind-the-wheel drive tests.
For more information on AB 60 click here.