While tens of thousands of immigrants in the country illegally are gearing up to apply for a long-sought driver’s license in California starting Jan. 2, others are being urged to think twice.
Immigrant advocates say most should be able to get licensed without trouble but want anyone who previously obtained a driver’s license under a false name or someone else’s Social Security number to speak first with a lawyer.
The same applies to immigrants with a deportation order or criminal record because law enforcement can access Department of Motor Vehicles data during an investigation.
The state expects 1.4 million immigrants to apply for licenses in the first three years. Advocates don’t foresee too many problems with the rollout, saying California has learned lessons from other states with similar programs.