Two new state laws take effect in 2013 that allow some undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses and in-state tuition at public universities.
Under the Deferred Action program announced by President Obama last August, undocumented immigrants younger than 30 and without a criminal record can apply for deportation relief and a work permit.
And now, they can also apply for a California driver's license. Armando Botello with the Department of Motor Vehicles says the agency is expecting most immigrants who qualify for Deferred Action to apply.
“Normally, on any given year, the DMV handles about 8 million transactions regarding driver’s licenses," he explains. "And it is estimated that under this bill there will be around 350,000 more people who will benefit.”
Undocumented immigrants who don't qualify for the federal Deferred Action program are barred from applying for a California driver's license. Only three states allow undocumented immigrants to have a driver’s license: New Mexico, Utah and Washington state.