Undocumented Filipinos can now apply for a driver’s licence in California

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A new law effective January 1, 2015, will allow anyone to apply for a state driver’s licence regardless of their immigration status; this includes the numerous undocumented Pinoys living in the state. 

California is not the first to enact such a law as Washington, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland and Connecticut have all passed similar laws involving undocumented drivers. 

California however is the first state to require secondary review of identification from the applicant.

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Filipino-American groups applaud Act AB-60 or “The Safe and Responsible Driver Act”, which requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue an original driver’s licence to an applicant who is unable to submit satisfactory proof of legal presence in the United States.

The Filipino Bar Association of Northern California welcomed the law as a significant step towards giving undocumented members of society a chance to normalize their lives and give them more economic opportunity.

The entire process to acquire said document has some Filipinos up in arms, saying the law is not fair as they must prove they are a resident of the state as well as give up much more information pertaining to their whereabouts.

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