senate Bill S5965B

Authorizes the department of motor vehicles to issue limited purpose drivers' licenses

download pdf

Sponsor

Co-Sponsors

view all co-sponsors

Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
view actions

actions

  • 23 / Oct / 2013
    • REFERRED TO RULES
  • 28 / Oct / 2013
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO RULES
  • 28 / Oct / 2013
    • PRINT NUMBER 5965A
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION
  • 14 / Feb / 2014
    • AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO TRANSPORTATION
  • 14 / Feb / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 5965B

Summary

Authorizes the department of motor vehicles to issue limited purpose drivers' licenses to certain applicants.

do you support this bill?

Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8257A
Versions:
S5965
S5965A
S5965B
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Transportation
Law Section:
Vehicle and Traffic Law
Laws Affected:
Add §503-a, V & T L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5965B

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.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 5965--B

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            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.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.