Friday, October 4, 2013


Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a provision allowing unauthorized immigrants across California to apply for and receive State-issued drivers permits.

I applaud this new law since it accomplishes many positive goals:  it recognizes the presence of many brothers and sisters among us without proper legal papers, and extends to them respect and dignity; it will ensure that all drivers on California roads will have studied for testing, and have taken a driving exam; it will require all such persons to have proper automobile insurance; and it will make our roads safer for everyone.

Some 1.4 million California immigrants would be eligible to apply for the new driving permits.

The new driving permits will appear differently from regular California drivers licenses which bear the logo "DL" for Driver's License.  These special permits will bear the logo "DP" for Driving Privilege, thus reducing their possible usage for other identification purposes.

It is expected that the Department of Motor Vehicles will start issuing the new driving permits by September or October of 2014.

While this step forward for our immigrant brothers and sisters is important, it does not address all of the other major stumbling blocks facing unauthorized persons in our country.  We must still insist on comprehensive immigration reform to bring all immigrants out from the shadows where they now live in fear, hardships, and discrimination.