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Res. No. 100-A


Resolution calling on the New York State Legislature to pass legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver's license regardless of their immigration status.


By Council Members Rodriguez and Kallos


Whereas, According to the Pew Hispanic Center, in 2016, New York State was home to approximately 725,000 undocumented immigrants, many of whom call New York City their home; and

Whereas, Undocumented immigrants face many obstacles tied to their lack of status, including the fact that undocumented immigrants are prohibited from obtaining a New York State driver's license; and 

Whereas, Many undocumented immigrants need to drive, whether it is for work, to take their children to school, or for other important appointments; and

Whereas, Regardless of the particular reason, driving is necessary for many undocumented immigrants to conduct their daily activities; and

Whereas, According to a 2011 nationwide report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, unlicensed drivers are five times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash compared to their licensed counterparts; and

Whereas, To ensure road safety and accountability, New York State's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) should provide qualified undocumented immigrants with driver's licenses regardless of their immigration status; and

Whereas, To date, twelve states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, allow undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers licenses, including New Mexico, Utah, Oregon, Nevada, Illinois, Washington, Maryland, Vermont, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii and California; and

Whereas, As for New York, State Senator Luis Spúlveda and Assembly Member Marcos Crespo introduced S.1747/A.3675, in January 2019, which would enact the “Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act;” and

Whereas, If enacted, this bill would authorize the DMV to issue driver’s licenses to individuals, currently ineligible for such licenses specifically due to their immigration status; and

Whereas, The bill would additionally protect the privacy of any personally identifying information collected by the DMV in compliance with this bill, absent a judicial subpoena or warrant; and

Whereas, The bill would prohibit the discrimination of a card applicant and cardholder, the use of such card as evidence of citizenship or immigration status, and would prohibit DMV employees from inquiring into applicants’ citizenship or immigration status; and

Whereas, Passing S.1747/A.3675 is in the best interest of all New Yorkers because immigrants wanting to drive legally will have to pass written and practical driver’s exams, register their vehicles, and obtain automobile insurance; and

Whereas, Allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses will improve public safety by ensuring that everyone driving has been properly educated and tested and is operating a registered, inspected, and insured vehicle; and 

Whereas, According to the Fiscal Policy Institute, allowing undocumented immigrants the opportunity to obtain a driver’s license could generate up to $57 million in annual State revenue through license and registration fees and may lead to lower auto insurance premiums for all New Yorkers; and

Whereas, Immigrants with driver’s licenses will more easily integrate into their communities which is beneficial to all New Yorkers; now, therefore, be it,

Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the New York State Legislature to pass legislation which would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver's license regardless of their immigration status.





Old LS 283/Res. No. 116-2014

LS 844