Allows the use of the individual tax identification number when a legal immigrant applies for a driver's license or a renewal of a driver's license.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to certain requirements for obtaining a driver's license
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this bill is to allow legal immigrants to use their Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) in place of a Social Security Number when applying for a New York State driver's license.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Subdivision 1 and paragraph (a) of subdivision 6 of section 502 of the vehicle and traffic law, as amended by chapter 81 of the laws of 1995, are amended to allow the use of an Individual tax Identification Number in place of a Social Security Number when applying for a driver's license or a renewal of a driver's license, when the applicant is a legal immigrant.
JUSTIFICATION: Under current law anyone wishing to apply for a driver's license must have either a Social Security Number (SSN) or a letter from the social Security Administration along with INS documentation, showing that the applicant is not eligible for a SSN. These stipulations have denied a growing number of legal immigrants a driver's license. These people are then forced to drive illegally to work, school and the doctor. For some public transportation is not even an option, due to the hours they commute, the type of job they hold, or the fact that the area in which they live is poorly served.
By withholding driver's licenses from legal immigrants we are damaging more than some may realize. As they have no license these immigrants also have no insurance, adding to insurance losses. In addition, the restriction of immigrant licenses can result in many arrests for minor traffic violations. These arrests clog the courts and divert time from law enforcement officials that could be better spent in the communities. Identity fraud is also more prevalent when there are license restrictions, as the restrictions create a breeding ground for false documents and false identities.
Numerous states already allow the substitution of an ITIN for a SSN when applying for a driver's license. An ITIN can only be attained after certain proof of identity has been demonstrated. It is also available only to those who cannot receive a SSN, and like the SSN, it is a 9-digit number.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2002 - A.9603 Referred to Transportation 2004 - A.5690 Referred to Transportation 2005 - A.611 Referred to Transportation 2007/08 - A.4249 Referred to Transportation 2009/10 - A.4236 Referred to Transportation
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: Unknown.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4334 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 29, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. CARLUCCI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to certain requirements for obtaining a driver's license THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 502 of the vehicle and traffic law, as amended by chapter 639 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows: 1. Application for license. Application for a driver's license shall be made to the commissioner. The fee prescribed by law may be submitted with such application. The applicant shall furnish such proof of identi- ty, age, and fitness as may be required by the commissioner. The commis- sioner may also provide that the application procedure shall include the taking of a photo image or images of the applicant in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the commissioner. In addition, the commissioner also shall require that the applicant provide his or her social security number OR THE INDIVIDUAL TAX IDENTIFICATION NUMBER WHERE SUCH APPLICANT IS A LEGAL IMMIGRANT and provide space on the application so that the applicant may register in the New York state organ and tissue donor registry under section forty-three hundred ten of the public health law. In addition, an applicant for a commercial driver's license who will operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce shall certify that such applicant meets the requirements to operate a commercial motor vehicle, as set forth in public law 99-570, title XII, and title 49 of the code of federal regulations, and all regulations promulgated by the United States secretary of transportation under the hazardous materials transportation act. Upon a determination that the holder of a commercial driver's license has made any false statement, with respect to the application for such license, the commis- sioner shall revoke such license.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03675-01-1 S. 4334 2
S 2. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 6 of section 502 of the vehicle and traffic law, as amended by section 3 of part K of chapter 59 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: (a) A license issued pursuant to subdivision five of this section shall be valid until the expiration date contained thereon, unless such license is suspended, revoked or cancelled. Such license may be renewed by submission of an application for renewal, the fee prescribed by law, proofs of prior licensing, fitness and acceptable vision prescribed by the commissioner, the applicant's social security number OR THE INDIVID- UAL TAX IDENTIFICATION NUMBER WHERE SUCH APPLICANT IS A LEGAL IMMIGRANT, and if required by the commissioner a photo image of the applicant in such numbers and form as the commissioner shall prescribe. In addition, an applicant for renewal of a license containing a hazardous material endorsement shall pass an examination to retain such endorsement. The commissioner shall, with respect to the renewal of a hazardous materials endorsement, comply with the requirements imposed upon states by sections 383.141 and 1572.13 of title 49 of the code of federal regu- lations. A renewal of such license shall be issued by the commissioner upon approval of such application, except that no such license shall be issued if its issuance would be inconsistent with the provisions of section five hundred sixteen of this title, and except that the commis- sioner may refuse to renew such license if the applicant is the holder of a currently valid or renewable license to drive issued by another state or foreign country unless the applicant surrenders such license. S 3. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.