Drivers cards could be coming for illegal immigrants - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Drivers cards could be coming for illegal immigrants

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A bill that would allow illegal immigrants to receive a driving card has passed the Nevada Senate. (Elizabeth Watts/FOX5) A bill that would allow illegal immigrants to receive a driving card has passed the Nevada Senate. (Elizabeth Watts/FOX5)

A bill aimed at making Nevada roads safer passes overwhelmingly in the Senate.

Senate Bill 303 would allow driver's privilege cards for illegal immigrants.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mo Denis of Las Vegas said it would make the roads safer because it would allow illegal immigrants to take a driving test and get better access to insurance.

"If it's done in the right way I don't really have a problem with it," driver Dennis Eitniear said.

Drivers argued both sides of the issue.

"Okay so you can say they're illegal but you're giving them a license to drive at the same time. It's a contradiction," Jerrod Walston said.

The Senate passed the bill 20 to 1.

If it becomes law the DMV's Kevin Malone said they'd look like regular licenses, but they would clearly state "Driver authorization card, not valid for identification."

"What it comes down to is that we will accept certain documents for proof of identity we don't take now," Malone said.

Those documents would include out of state or country identification. The DMV would also require two proofs of Nevada residence.

"They'll have to go through all the same testing that regular drivers go through, including the written test and the drive test," Malone added.

The undocumented immigrants would also have to follow the same rules when it comes to points and suspensions.

The cards would be valid for one year. The drivers could renew before they expire just like with regular licenses.

"They would be better drivers, safer, legal," Eitniear said.

While those who proposed the bill said it would make Nevada roads safer, some drivers aren't so sure.

"If they're illegal, they're not following the rules in the first place. So I think the first step is being a legal citizen then after they do that step, then they can get their license to drive around our state," Walston said.

The bill also added 18 new positions for the DMV so they could handle the extra load and said they wouldn't anticipate any longer waits than usual.

Another provision is that law enforcement can't use the cards to figure out if a driver is here illegally, so the undocumented immigrants wouldn't have to fear getting one.

The bill now heads to the Assembly where it's expected to pass. Republican Governor Brian Sandoval also backs the proposal.

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