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Driver Licenses for Colorado Residents in U.S. Unlawfully

Colorado Governor Hickenlooper signed a bill into law on June 5, 2013 that allows non-citizens unlawfully in the U.S. to receive driver licenses. Effective August 1, 2014, it requires proof of filing of a Colorado state tax return in the prior tax year and issuance of a federal taxpayer identification number (TIN). In addition, it authorizes the DMV to charge an additional fee and limits the validity of the licenses to three years. The law is designed to comply with the federal REAL ID Act by mandating that the license be clearly marked as not being valid for federal identification purposes.

This is a good idea. Why? Two words: certification and insurance. We are all safer when more drivers pass a test, get insurance, and don’t have to fear arrest if they are in a minor traffic accident.

Colorado is now one of a minority of states issuing or set to issue driver licenses or similar permits to those not in legal status:

California, beginning on or before January 1, 2015ColoradoConnecticut
IllinoisMarylandMinnesota – passed both houses, final status pending
New MexicoNevadaOregon
Rhode IslandUtahVermont
WashingtonThe District of Columbia

(The Seattle Times has created a table of the above states, along with those where legislative efforts are ongoing.)

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