Driver's license, etc.; DMV to require proof of U.S. citizenship prior to issuance and renewal. (HB186)

Introduced By

Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Issuance and renewal of driver's licenses, etc. Requires presentation to DMV of proof of U.S. citizenship prior to issuance or renewal of any license, permit or special identification card. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Failed

History

DateAction
12/26/2007Committee
12/26/2007Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/08 082230616
12/26/2007Referred to Committee on Rules
01/17/2008Impact statement from DPB (HB186)
02/12/2008Left in Rules

Comments

nick writes:

Would this bill keep residents on a work or student visa from being able to drive? It sounds like a great way to have a lot more unlicensed drivers on the road

Claire Gastanaga writes:

This bill would deny driver's licenses to people who are lawful permanent residents (green card holders), students lawfully here on visas, workers lawfully here on visas, people lawfully here on temporary protected status, people lawfully here as asylees, among others.

This bill, along with the English only bills, cannot be defended as being against "illegal immigration" only. It is clearly anti-immigrant.

Each time we deny a class of people the opportunity to receive training, learn our laws and obtain driver's licenses, we make our roads less safe.

This bill is nothing more than using denial of access to driver's licenses as a method for deterring even legal immigrants from living in Virginia.

CG2 Consulting, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

As introduced, this bill would deny driver's licenses to people who are lawful permanent residents (green card holders), students lawfully here on visas, workers lawfully here on visas, people lawfully here on temporary protected status, people lawfully here as asylees, among others. This would clearly be anti-immigrant and unconstitutional.

The patron says, however, that was not his intent. Rather, he intends to extend to all licenses granted prior to January 1, 2004, the same legal presence requirements that apply to licenses issued after that date.

Even if Delegate Marshall amends the bill to accomplish this more limited objective, this bill will only lead to increased burdens and costs for all Virginia taxpayers because it will eliminate all mail and online renewals.

It will also make our roads less safe because we will be discouraging rather than encouraging people to receive training, learn our laws and obtain driver's licenses.

There is no evidence that imposing the greater burdens or costs on all Virginians will enhance public safety in any measurable way.

Claire Gastanaga writes:

After I posted my comment, I spoke with Delegate Marshall about this bill. He indicated that it was not his intent to introduce legislation that would limit licenses to citizens. What he had in mind was making the legal presence requirement imposed on new licenses issued after January 1, 2004 applicable to everyone seeking a license renewal regardless of when the original license was issued. This would be similar to what the federal REAL ID act will require when it becomes effective.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

It seems to me that Del. Marshall's intentions won't much matter if this bill becomes law -- if its function is to deny driver's licenses to people who are lawful permanent residents, then that's what it will do.

Thanks so much for providing this information, Claire.

Claire Gastanaga writes:

Waldo:
I agree that his intention isn't relevant if the bill were to pass in its current form. It is relevant in that it indicates that the patron is quite likely to amend the bill before it moves very far along in the process.

Now, don't get me wrong. Passage of this bill, even in a form reflective of Delegate Marshall's intent, would be bad public policy. It would continue down the path of making our roads unsafe by making even more people ineligible for licensure and it would impose burden many Virginians with longer waits for license renewals, etc, without any corresponding proven benefit in terms of enhanced public safety. And, it would cost taxpayers a boatload for more DMV officials since no one would be able to renew their license by mail or online if the bill passes.
Claire

Waldo Jaquith writes:

It is relevant in that it indicates that the patron is quite likely to amend the bill before it moves very far along in the process.

Oh, good! I hadn't come to the admittedly obvious conclusion that he could simply amend it. :)

spotter writes:

It's hard to believe this bill got through legislative services in this form. It clearly eliminates the provision for legal permanent residents, redlining through that portion of the current statute. Bob Marshall should have realized based on the clear language of the bill that it would allow only citizens to have licenses. How about a bill to require delegates to attain at least a third grade reading level?

Anonymous writes:

Are my tax dollars going to Marshall? I would rather invest in wax oven mitts.

cook writes:

This bill would prohibit us from renewing our licenses online and would require us to dig up several required forms of identification at every renewal. I bet you thought the lines at DMV were long before!! Legislators, vote YES on this bill only if you think your voters would appreciate having to wait at DMV more often.

Zoi writes:

His intention is clearly spelled in his bill unless he: (i) Did not read it before submitting it, or (ii)Did have a writing/reading disability that does not allow him to understand at middle school level at the time of submission. I want to believe that we have at least average smart people in our delegate positions, therefore that leaves just one explanation to this senseless bill: ANTI-IMMIGRANT. Not just against illegallity but also against legality. What would anyone be thinking to presume that our country will allow people live here legally and deny them of the right to drive or have an id? What if any American citizen decides to marry someone non-american? Would Governor Schwarzenneger have gone so far if he would have been denied the right to have a DL/id?

Andy writes:

This one of several poorly written bills that explicitely deny rights to legal residents of the state. There is no excuse for such blantant discrimation - intentional or accidental.
It not good enough to say "oh I didn't mean that!"
What a waste of taxpayers money!

Star Womanspirit writes:

Besides denying "lawful" visitors the right to a driver's license it's just adding more cost and hassle to what we already have to do.

Besides...I'd rather have illegals get driver's license...otherwise you are putting them into a position where they will have to hit and run...even if they'd want to do the right thing.

This kind of thinking is actually a danger to public safety if you stop and think about it.

Brad Berg writes:

All of this will be taken care of when the True ID bill takes effect. Everyone will be required to show legal presence at that time (at least that is my understanding).