No matter of immigration position, persons in Minnesota can start out making use of for driver’s licenses

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Individuals residing in Minnesota without having lawful immigration status can now commence the procedure of having their driver’s license by generating an appointment for their penned driver’s test, state officers declared at a news convention Thursday.

About 81,000 folks are expected to be eligible below the state’s new legislation — dubbed “Driver’s License for All.” They can now make appointments to utilize but won’t be equipped to actually get a license until the law goes into outcome Oct. 1.

“We’re extremely very pleased to be a part of a handful of states that give driver’s license for all,” explained Pong Xiong, Driver and Motor vehicle Providers Director at the Minnesota Section of Public Safety, at the information conference. “And the very first move to receiving your driver’s license is to move that created take a look at.”

The new law eliminates the specifications for candidates to exhibit legal existence, claimed Jody-Kay Peterson, the department’s Driver Solutions Method Director.

When asked about any threat for deportation applicants might experience, Peterson reported the section will not submit the names or individual information of candidates to any immigration law enforcement.

Democratic Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed the measure into legislation this yr. It reverses a 2003 alter by then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, barring folks without lawful status from acquiring licenses, citing protection worries following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist assaults.

Supporters of Minnesota’s new law say it will boost general public security by guaranteeing that all drivers are certified and insured, and have taken driver’s training courses. Backers involved law enforcement, faith, company and immigrant legal rights groups.

Opponents say it will inspire illegal immigration.

Applicants must however pass created and highway tests and attest to their tackle in Minnesota. They will not be requested for evidence of U.S. citizenship or long-lasting residency status. But they must provide figuring out paperwork this sort of as an unexpired foreign passport, a consular identification document with a photograph or a certified delivery certificate issued by a overseas jurisdiction.

Eighteen other states grant licenses to inhabitants no matter of immigration position, in accordance to the Nationwide Meeting of State Legislatures. They include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.


Trisha Ahmed is a corps member for the Involved Press/Report for The us Statehouse News Initiative. Report for The us is a nonprofit national assistance program that sites journalists in local newsrooms to report on underneath-coated concerns. Observe her on X, formerly regarded as Twitter: @TrishaAhmed15

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