Authorizes the department of motor vehicles to issue limited purpose drivers' licenses to certain applicants.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to authorizing the department of motor vehicles to issue limited purpose drivers' licenses
PURPOSE: To improve public safety and expand economic opportunity by allowing individuals who cannot provide the documentation necessary to obtain a standard or enhanced driver's license the chance to earn a limited purpose driver's license.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 adds section 503-A to the vehicle and traffic law, providing for the creation and implementation of Limited Purpose Drivers' Licenses in New York.
Paragraph 1 directs the department to provide limited purpose drivers' licenses to qualified individuals.
Paragraph 2 sets forth the necessary proofs of identity and residency an applicant must show in order to obtain a limited purpose driver's license.
Paragraph 3 sets forth the duration for which limited purpose drivers' licenses shall be valid.
Paragraph 4 provides for the creation of a differentiated license designed to comply with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005 and Department of Homeland Security Regulations. This differentiated license shall clearly state that the license is "Not Acceptable for Federal Purposes."
Paragraph 5 makes provisions for altering the limited purpose drivers' license if the Department of Homeland Security determines that a license issued pursuant to this section does not comply with federal law.
Paragraph 6 makes clear that a license issued pursuant to this section may not be used as evidence of a license holder's immigration status, nor as the basis for investigating, arresting, or detaining a limited purpose license holder under circumstances where an individual who held a license issued pursuant to another section of law would not have been investigated, arrested or detained.
Paragraph 7 makes it a violation of law, including New York Human Rights Law (Executive Law Article 15) to discriminate against an individual because he or she applies for, holds or presents a license issued under this section.
Paragraph 8 provides that information collected under this section is not public record and may not be disclosed by the department unless required by law.
Paragraph 9 provides that such license may be used for identification purposes, except where prohibited by law.
Section 2 establishes the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: By passing this legislation, New York will join the eleven states, as well as the District of Colombia and Puerto Rico, that have already taken the sensible step of passing legislation that allows immigrant motorists the opportunity to obtain legal driving privileges. These states include our neighbors in Connecticut, big states with major cities like Illinois and California, even Utah, a deep red state, not to mention the one jurisdiction whose homeland security concerns rival New York City's - Washington, D.C.
Ten of these limited purpose drivers' license laws were passed in 2013, and similar bills are under consideration in state houses all across the country. The reasons for this flurry of legislative activity are simple. First, limited purpose drivers' licenses are a commonsense way states can improve public safety while giving hardworking immigrants the chance to legally do basic things the rest of us take for granted, like commuting to work, driving to church, or taking their kids to school. Second, although comprehensive reform has stalled in Washington, recent federal guidance has allowed states to develop distinguishable, limited purpose licenses that comply with the REAL ID Act and Department of Homeland Security requirements.
Allowing all individuals the opportunity to earn a driver's license, regardless of immigration status, will improve public safety by ensuring that everyone driving on our roads is properly credentialed, informed of our traffic laws, and is operating a registered, inspected and insured vehicle. In New Mexico and Utah, where these laws have been in place for a decade or more, there has been a demonstrable impact on road safety: New Mexico saw a 23% decrease in traffic deaths between 2002 and 2010 and Utah experienced a 15% decrease during that time period. Moreover, possessing a legal license will facilitate increased cooperation between immigrants and law enforcement, making it more likely that drivers will remain at the scene of a car accident or cooperate as a witness to a crime. Our current system, which prevents these individuals from obeying the law, places everyone needlessly at risk.
Passing this law will also reduce the percentage of uninsured drivers on our roads, leading to lower insurance rates for all New Yorkers. For example, when Utah changed its policy in 1999, the state's uninsurance rate dropped from 10 percent in 1998 to 5.1 percent in 2007. Since New Mexico made this change in 2003, its rate of uninsured motorists fell from 33% to under 9%. As additional drivers obtain insurance, the number of accidents involving uninsured motorists will naturally decline. The costs of such accidents - and the premiums that cover them - will drop, and insurance rates will go down for everyone. For example, in Illinois, where the law is just starting to go into effect, it is estimated that if only half of the state's 250,000 unlicensed immigrant residents become licensed and insured, Illinois policyholders will save $46 million per year in premium payments. With an immigrant population more than twice the size of Illinois's, New York drivers could see even greater savings. Additionally, the state would receive an influx of millions of dollars in fees from these newly licensed drivers, providing potential funding for any number of worthy programs.
Beyond road safety, lower insurance rates, and revenue for state coffers, passing this legislation will also allow hundreds of thousands of immigrants to move out of the shadows and into the economic mainstream. This will benefit not only the license holders themselves, who will enjoy greater employment flexibility, but also the many businesses that employ these individuals. This is particularly true in New York's agriculture industry, where the workforce is largely comprised of immigrants who must routinely drive significant distances between fields and operate motor vehicles as part of their work. Moreover, immigrants are disproportionately victims of exploitation and fraud, and the ability to obtain a driver's license would make them less isolated and vulnerable to such predation.
Providing drivers' licenses to all New Yorkers is not a novel and untested plan. In fact, it was the status quo for ninety years, until 2002 when Governor Pataki changed the law to require license holders to have social security numbers, invalidating the licenses of 152,000 New Yorkers. In 2007, when Governor Spitzer attempted to restore immigrant drivers' licenses, New York was clearly not ready for such a step, and the political firestorm remains fresh in the minds of many. However, times have changed, and other states have demonstrated that this can be done, and done right. We cannot afford to wait on federal action to restore sanity to our broken immigration system. We must take what steps we can to till these gaps, and a proven, commonsense measure like this one is an obvious choice to be part of this effort.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect twelve months after the date on which it shall have become law; provided, however, that the commissioner of motor vehicles shall promulgate any rules or regulations necessary for the timely implementation of this act on or before such date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5965--B 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE October 23, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. PERALTA, RIVERA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules -- commit- tee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recom- mitted to said committee -- recommitted to the Committee on Transpor- tation in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to authorizing the department of motor vehicles to issue limited purpose drivers' licenses THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new section 503-a to read as follows: S 503-A. LIMITED PURPOSE DRIVERS' LICENSES. 1. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL, SUBJECT TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SECTION, ISSUE A DRIVER'S LICENSE TO AN APPLICANT FOR A DRIVER'S LICENSE WHO MEETS THE APPLICABLE REQUIRE- MENTS OF THIS CHAPTER BUT WHO IS UNABLE TO SATISFY THE FORMS FOR PROOF OF IDENTITY PRESCRIBED IN SECTION FIVE HUNDRED TWO OF THIS ARTICLE. 2. TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR A DRIVER'S LICENSE UNDER THIS SECTION, THE APPLICANT MUST: (A) PRESENT TO THE DEPARTMENT PROOF OF IDENTITY ON TERMS IDENTICAL TO THOSE REQUIRED BY THE DEPARTMENT'S FORM ID-44, WITH THE FOLLOWING EXEMPTIONS: (I) THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS SHALL BE ACCEPTED AS THREE POINTS OF PROOF OF NAME, AS WELL AS PROOF OF DATE OF BIRTH: (A) A CURRENT PHOTO IDEN- TIFICATION CARD ISSUED TO THE APPLICANT BY THE EMBASSY OR CONSULATE IN THE UNITED STATES OF HIS OR HER COUNTRY OF CITIZENSHIP; (B) A CURRENT IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENT ISSUED TO THE APPLICANT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF HIS OR HER COUNTRY OF CITIZENSHIP; OR (C) AN OFFICIAL MUNICIPAL IDENTIFICA- TION CARD ISSUED BY A MUNICIPALITY WITHIN THE STATE.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD07174-07-4 S. 5965--B 2
(II) THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ACCEPT EITHER OF THE FOLLOWING AS TWO POINTS OF PROOF OF NAME: AN INDIVIDUAL TAXPAYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER OR A SWORN STATEMENT UNDER THE PENALTY OF PERJURY, STATING THE APPLICANT'S IDENTITY, AND THE FACT THAT HE OR SHE HAS NOT BEEN ISSUED A SOCIAL SECU- RITY NUMBER. (III) AN OTHERWISE VALID FOREIGN PASSPORT SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO INCLUDE AN I-551 STAMP, AND SHALL BE ACCEPTED AS THREE POINTS OF PROOF OF NAME AS WELL AS PROOF OF DATE OF BIRTH. (IV) THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS SHALL BE ACCEPTED AS TWO POINTS OF PROOF OF NAME, AS WELL AS PROOF OF DATE OF BIRTH: A CERTIFIED BIRTH CERTIF- ICATE FROM THE APPLICANT'S COUNTRY OF CITIZENSHIP, OR A CONSULAR REPORT OF THE APPLICANT'S BIRTH. (V) ANY FEDERAL DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY DOCUMENTATION LISTED ON THE DEPARTMENT'S FORM ID-44 AS PROOF OF IDENTITY SHALL BE ACCEPTED AS THREE POINTS OF PROOF OF NAME AS WELL AS PROOF OF DATE OF BIRTH EVEN IF THE AUTHORIZATION PERIOD LISTED THEREIN HAS EXPIRED. (VI) OFFICIAL RECORDS FROM A RELIGIOUS ENTITY CONFIRMING PARTICIPATION IN A RELIGIOUS CEREMONY SHALL BE ACCEPTED AS ONE POINT OF PROOF OF NAME, THOUGH NOT AS PROOF OF DATE OF BIRTH. (B) SUBMIT PROOF OF AN ESTABLISHED RESIDENCY IN THIS STATE ON TERMS IDENTICAL TO THE PROOF OF RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS IN THE DEPARTMENT'S FORM ID-44EDL, EXCEPT THAT A COPY OF A MONEY ORDER RECEIPT WITH THE APPLICANT'S NAME AND ADDRESS, SENT TO A LOCATION IN THIS STATE FROM A FOREIGN COUNTRY, OR FROM A LOCATION IN THIS STATE TO A FOREIGN COUNTRY SHALL BE ACCEPTED AS ONE OF TWO DOCUMENTS FOR PROOF OF RESIDENCY IN THIS STATE. 3. LICENSES ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE VALID FOR THE SAME DURATION OF TIME AS LICENSES OF THE SAME CLASS ISSUED PURSUANT TO SECTION FIVE HUNDRED THREE OF THIS ARTICLE. 4. EACH DRIVER'S LICENSE ISSUED OR RENEWED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING NOTICE PRINTED ON THE FACE THEREOF: "NOT ACCEPTABLE FOR FEDERAL PURPOSES". THIS NOTICE SHALL BE IN THE SAME FONT AND COLOR AS THE TEXT ON THE FACE OF A DRIVER'S LICENSE ISSUED PURSUANT TO SECTION FIVE HUNDRED THREE OF THIS ARTICLE, WITH NO OTHER DISTIN- GUISHABLE FEATURES. 5. IN THE EVENT THE FEDERAL DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY DETERMINES A LICENSE ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION DOES NOT SATISFY THE REQUIRE- MENTS OF SECTION 37.71 OF TITLE 6 OF THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS, ADOPTED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (11) OF SUBDIVISION (D) OF SECTION 202 OF THE REAL ID ACT OF 2005 (PUBLIC LAW 109-13), THE COMMISSIONER SHALL, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF LAW AND THE OFFICE OF NEW AMERICANS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE, MODIFY THE LICENSE ONLY TO THE EXTENT NECES- SARY TO SATISFY THE REQUIREMENT OF SUCH SECTION. 6. A DRIVER'S LICENSE ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL NOT BE USED AS EVIDENCE OF THE HOLDER'S CITIZENSHIP OR IMMIGRATION STATUS, AND SHALL NOT BE USED AS A BASIS FOR A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION, ARREST OR DETENTION IN CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE A HOLDER OF A DRIVER'S LICENSE THAT WAS NOT ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION WOULD NOT BE CRIMINALLY INVESTI- GATED, ARRESTED OR DETAINED. 7. IT SHALL BE A VIOLATION OF LAW INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ARTI- CLE FIFTEEN OF THE EXECUTIVE LAW, TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST AN INDIVIDUAL BECAUSE HE OR SHE APPLIES FOR, HOLDS OR PRESENTS A LICENSE ISSUED PURSU- ANT TO THIS SECTION. 8. INFORMATION COLLECTED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL NOT BE DEEMED TO BE A PUBLIC RECORD AND SHALL NOT BE DISCLOSED BY THE DEPARTMENT, EXCEPT AS REQUIRED BY LAW.S. 5965--B 3
9. EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE EXPRESSLY PROVIDED BY LAW, A LICENSE ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION MAY BE USED AS LEGAL IDENTIFICATION OF THE HOLDER TO WHOM THE LICENSE IS ISSUED. S 2. This act shall take effect one year after it shall have become a law; provided, however, that the commissioner of motor vehicles shall promulgate any rules and regulations necessary for the timely implemen- tation of the provisions of this act on or before such effective date.