MN House passes Driver’s License for All bill
The Minnesota House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday that would allow people in Minnesota to obtain a state ID or driver’s license without showing proof of legal residence in the United States.
House File 4, or the Driver’s License for All bill, was introduced by State Representatives María Isa Peréz-Vega and Aisha Gomez Tuesday. It passed the House Judiciary Committee Thursday.
“The challenge that it must be for folks in our immigrant communities that want to be citizens that are working to become citizens, the challenge that it is for them to accomplish that, without having a driver’s license,” Rep. Peréz-Vega said in a testimony.
The bill not only allows for immigrants to apply and receive a driver’s license, regardless of lawful presence within the United States, but also allows for data protections in place for applicants.
“It… prohibits DVS from releasing information that identifies or has the effect of identifying an individual’s citizenship status or lawful presence outside of DVS,” Executive Director of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota Veena Iyer said.
DVS has supported the bill, with DVS Executive Director Pong Xiong saying that the bill allows for more safe drivers on the road, on the basis that more people will go through the standard methods of obtaining a driver’s license. Stearns County Sheriff Steve Soyka said that more people having a photo ID would make law enforcement’s job easier.
The bill now heads to the Senate; if passed it will go into effect on October 1.