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Undocumented immigrants legally get drivers licenses for the first time

California has the largest population of undocumented immigrants in the country, and this is the first day they can legally get drivers licenses.

“I got my drivers license on this right here,” says Maria Rodriguez is an undocumented immigrant who is holding her new drivers license after taking the test at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Indio.

“It was frustrating because you know I knew how to drive, I try to obey the law, but now I can go anywhere,” says Rodriguez.


“The DMV has been working for the pat 13 to 14 months hiring 900 people and conducting several community workshops going out the the community to explain what the program is all about,” says Alberto Botello a spokesperson with the DMV.

But many drivers today at the DMV in Palm Desert said they didn’t have enough staff today.

“You start in a line outside then you have another line inside the door, they they had another line. It’s been an hour and a half to get into the line to get a number to wait another two hours,” says Laexeis Becker who is trying to get a replacement drivers license.

“They only have one girl at the window, and she’s doing a great job but when you have 50 or 60 people in line and one person it really slows down the process,” says Becker.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles expects 1.4 million people to seek a license in the first three years of the AB 60 program allowing undocumented immigrants to get drivers licenses. The applicants will need to show proof of residency and have proof of insurance to get a license.

“It just makes me happy to see so many people who are coming in to get their drivers licenses,” says Anabell Orduno who was renewing her drivers license in Palm Desert. “They asked me questions, is the test hard how is it and I’m like don’t worry you’ll be fine. It’s so cool because you see them coming out and they get their license.”

KESQ News Team


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