Of California’s 26 million driver’s licenses, more than 1 million have been issued to illegal immigrants, according to an April 4 report viewed by The Sacramento Bee.
California has been issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants since the beginning of 2015, when Assembly Bill 60 came into effect.
AB 60 allows illegal immigrants to apply for a driver’s license by providing proof of identity and California residency—such as a foreign passport and a utility or cell phone bill—according to California’s Department of Motor Vehicles website.
The author of the bill, then-Democratic Assemblyman Luis Alejo, told the Bee that AB 60 is “working the way it was intended to and has dramatically improved the lives of a million immigrants and their families.”
“Immigrants are getting tested, licensed, and insured, and this is making our roads safer for everyone,” Alejo said.
The AB 60 license does not act as federal identification and can’t be used for entering restricted parts of federal buildings.
“It does not give anyone the right to work, vote, or receive any benefits that the person wasn’t already eligible for,” according to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.
The center gives advice to illegal immigrants who had previously received a license based on fraudulent information—usually by using a false Social Security number.
“If the DMV thinks that you used the false information to cause harm, it might refer you to criminal prosecution. If not, it will issue you an AB 60 license,” the center said.
Ten other states and the District of Columbia allow illegal immigrants to get a driver’s license. They are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, Nevada, Vermont, and Washington.