Senator To Support Legislation To Prohibit Drivers Licenses For Illegal Aliens

Thomas P. Morahan

October 19, 2007

Senator Thomas P. Morahan today announced his support for legislation which would require a social security number or proof of authorized presence in the United States to obtain a New York State drivers license. The legislation, Senate Bill S.6484 is expected to be discussed during a Special Legislative Session of the Senate on Monday, October 22, 2007.

The proposed legislation is in response to the recently announced administrative order from the Executive Branch which would facilitate the issuance of drivers licenses to illegal aliens.

Supporters of the Senate Bill feel the new administrative order is inconsistent with the Federal Real ID Act which requires a Social Security Number and proof of US citizenship or lawful status to be in the United States in order to obtain a drivers license or non-driver ID card.

The new legislation prohibits the Commissioner of DMV from issuing a driver's license to applicants who do not submit satisfactory proof of legally authorized presence in the United States. It requires applicants that are ineligible for a social security number to provide proof of such, and also provide proof he or she is legally authorized to be in the United States. Proof of authorized legal presence as required for a driver's license would be the same as that which is required for a non-driver identification card. The Bill provides for a temporary driver's license, and renewal of such, in the same manner as a temporary non-driver identification card.

"This legislation will protect and preserve the integrity of the New York State driver’s license while reversing the administration’s policy before it is in full effect," said Morahan, a member of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee.

The Department of Motor Vehicles has reported an increase in the number of cases of illegal aliens fraudulently obtaining and using state driver's licenses. Particularly since September 11, 2001, the state has a compelling interest in preventing illegal aliens from securing driver's licenses and non-driver identification cards. It is anticipated that this legislation will be in compliance with the Federal REAL ID Act when implemented.