ALBANY – Despite pushback from some lawmakers, a bill that would effectively grant illegal immigrants driver’s licenses in New York State passed in the Assembly Wednesday and is set to be voted on in the Senate Thursday.
The Green Light Bill allows undocumented immigrants in New York to apply for a drivers license.
Last month WNYNewsNow reported that if the bill passes Chautauqua County Clerk Larry Barmore plans to not change the way local DMV offices issue licenses. The clerk plans to still require six points of identification including a social security card.
Under the new law, applicants could submit a signed affidavit that they have not been issued a social security number, instead of providing a social security card.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo supports the bill and said he will sign off on it if passed. Cuomo believes the bill would improve road safety.
Twelve states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have already enacted similar legislation.
A 2017 Stanford University study found that California’s law expanding access to drivers’ licenses led to a drop in hit-and-run accidents between seven and 10 percent, or approximately 4,000 fewer hit-and-run accidents, and saving not-at-fault drivers $3.5 million in out-of-pocket expenses for car repairs.
Proponents of the bill say the change will generate an estimated $57 million in combined government revenues annual.