ALBANY – A state legislation allowing undocumented immigrant to apply for driver’s patent is set to take result Dec. 14, and local clerks space warning they might be ill-prepared to take care of the influx of applicants.

You are watching: Driving license for illegal immigrants in ny

The new law, known as the eco-friendly Light Law, will make new York one that 13 says to enable unauthorized immigrant to attain a driver’s license. The measure, i m sorry was directly approved in June, remains controversial as it is set to take it effect.

Lawsuits indigenous officials in Erie, Monroe and also Rensselaer counties room trying to block the regulation from walk ahead, and the state department of engine Vehicles is offering last-minute guidance come counties on how to implement the law. 

"The DMV is not creating a new license," DMV spokeswoman Lisa Koumjian said.

"Under the law the legislative branch passed, applicants without legal status in the nation will it is in eligible to apply for a standard, non-commercial driver license, i beg your pardon is already easily accessible today to citizens and also those with legal presence in the U.S."

Still, Republicans space railing versus the law and part clerks claimed they will not problem licenses come undocumented immigrants, saying their offices are no equipped to determine the veracity of papers that can soon be submitted to obtain a license.

"They desire to us to make a decision appropriate at the window as to even if it is something is cheat or acceptable," Rensselaer Clerk candid Merola said, adding, "I’m no going to make a major mistake."

He said he will rather send any type of applications from undocumented immigrants to state offices for review.

Supporters said the new law will assist people who want to legitimate drive, help law enforcement and require the new license holders to get car insurance — which will make the roads safer.

The Migrant plan Institute, a nationwide think tank on immigrant issues, approximated there are 882,000 brand-new Yorkers over the period of 16 without legal existence in the U.S.

Four year after surrounding Connecticut passed a comparable law, the DMV there claimed it had actually a reduction in hit-and-run crashes and a decline in unlicensed driving tickets.

"This regulation will rise our state’s economy, boost road safety, and keep families together," said Javier H. Valdés, co-executive director at make the Road brand-new York, an immigrant advocacy group.


What the green Light regulation will do

The brand-new law means people there is no legal immigration standing will it is in able to apply for a learner"s permit beginning Dec. 14, which is a Saturday when many DMV offices are no open.

So almost the an initial day to use would it is in Monday, Dec. 16.

To obtain a permit, a person would have to fill out an application and also return it to the county DMV office.

Then the applicant would have to pass a composed exam, i beg your pardon is accessible in different languages and also is based on the NYS Driver"s Manual.

A learner"s permit enables a human to drive through a supervising, license is granted driver end the period of 21 in the passenger seat.

After that, a driver would have to take a pre-licensing course and happen a roadway test in order to gain a patent to journey by yourself.

What files will you need?

Any immigrant who resides in brand-new York there is no legal immigration condition will have to prove their age and identity through valid, foreign-issued documents.

Here is what deserve to be accepted:

An unexpired passport issued by the applicant"s country of citizenship.An unexpired identification document issued through a consulate native the applicant"s country of citizenship.A valid international driver"s license that contains a photograph of the applicant and is either unexpired or expired within the prior 2 years.

Applicants additionally have come prove lock live in brand-new York, such as reflecting a recent utility bill with their name and address on it.

The law gives the DMV commissioner the capability to grant other proofs of age and identity. Together DMV has actually trained state and county public representative on the new law, the company has claimed it will certainly accept taxes documents, U.S. Court records that name the applicant as a party, and foreign-issued item like major credit cards and also utility bills. 

Search:Find her county DMV office here

A Social protection number is no needed, however an applicant will need to sign one affidavit swearing that they have actually never been issued one. 

View in new tab

Can the driver"s patent be valid for commonwealth purposes?


The driver"s licenses issued to undocumented immigrants won"t comply v federal requirements.

So, for example, the license can not be to plank an airline.

The state DMV, follow to the law, can stamp "Not for commonwealth Purposes" ~ above driver"s licenses issued to those making use of foreign files to prove age and also identity.

The license also cannot be used to register to vote. Trying to perform so comes with a fine up come $5,000 and also up to four years in prison.

Can the federal government accessibility a environment-friendly Light legislation license?

When the legislation was passed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo increased concern around the measure being provided by ICE and also other federal agencies to pursue undocumented immigrants.

So the legislation prohibits the state DMV from turning over any kind of information come U.S. Immigration officials without a court order, subpoena or righteousness warrant.

The new law limits what information can be released to the following circumstances:

The applicant requests a copy.It is required to update the national Driver Register, which allows states come share information about driving records.A court order, subpoena or a judicial warrant signed through a judge is issued.

The law calls for the state to inform the individual within three days if federal immigration officials acquired a subpoena or warrant because that an individual"s DMV records.

More:Here"s what undocumented immigrants must do to acquire a driver"s patent in new York

What will county clerks execute under the environment-friendly Light Law?

Most DMV offices in brand-new York space run through the ar clerk"s offices.

So the state is providing new "document authentication devices" to ar DMV offices to help with the process of offering licenses to undocumented applicants, Koumjian, the DMV spokeswoman, said.

DMV began this week with online cultivate sessions with county staff.

But ar clerks stated the outreach is late in the process as they shot to type out how to manage the new law.

Chemung county Clerk Catherine Hughes said the state Legislature and Cuomo placed the law into place, yet left that to neighborhood officials come implement it.

"They don’t really realize the ramifications that it reasons by law something prefer this," she said. "There room no collection of rules and regulations on how to obtain it done. And that puts united state county clerks in a an extremely precarious situation since we nothing know how to do it."

She and other clerks stated they space concerned around whether lock will be able to accurately process applications from undocumented immigrants. For example, they provided they might get documents they are unfamiliar with, such as ones in composed in foreign languages.

They are also unsure exactly how these brand-new machines lock will get will work. They hadn"t gotten them yet.

"It’s a law, and also we’re walking to monitor the law of the state," Hughes said. "We’re walking to carry out the ideal we can."

More:New York allows undocumented immigrant to get driver"s licenses

Lawsuits making their method through courts

Some clerks are not indicating even if it is they will follow the law.

The green Light Law withstood an initial legal challenge from Erie county Clerk Michael Kearns, a Democrat who ran ~ above the Republican line.

But Kearns is appealing the case, ensuring the legitimate fight will proceed into 2020.

Two other instances — one filed by Monroe County executive, management Cheryl Dinolfo, the various other by Rensselaer ar Clerk candid Merola, both republicans — remain pending.

Monroe County"s lawsuit was filed in state court and also will stretch into 2020 before any kind of decisions space handed down.

Merola’s case, though, is search a preliminary injunction blocking the regulation from acquisition effect.

He argued in his court filing the the regulation requires ar clerks to take part in a “state-sponsored scheme” that would, in part, enable immigrants in the nation illegally to it is registered to poll in new York, which state officials have said would not be permitted.

He also said a license would allow undocumented immigrant to drive vehicles that deserve to transport heavy loads.

“Such vehicles space easily qualified of transporting and hiding instruments of mass destruction, and also would also facilitate other illicit smuggling tasks which are unfortunately on the climb in this country, such as human trafficking and drug trafficking,” Merola’s sue claims.

More:Monroe County documents suit over legislation that permits driver"s licenses for undocumented immigrants

The decision on whether to temporary block the regulation from taking impact is in the hands of U.S. District Judge Gary Sharpe that Albany, who is expected to ascendancy on the inquiry in the days ahead.

New York Attorney general Letitia James, whose office is defending the law, obtained a an increase Monday from 10 various other states that already enabled undocumented immigrant to apply for driver’s licenses.

Those states, as well as the ar of Columbia, filed a quick with Sharpe suggesting in favor of new York’s law, make the case that that is totally constitutional and also doesn’t infringe on commonwealth law. The short was led by Connecticut.

See more: Does Britney Spears Have A Boyfriend Sam Asghari, Who Is Britney Spears'S Fiancé, Sam Asghari

The states" quick disagrees v Merola"s claims, saying their driver"s license laws only improve road safety.

“They make the (states) and their residents safer, healthier, and better off.”

More:New York can worry driver"s licenses to undocumented immigrants, judge rules

More:Controversial license plate plan won"t relocate ahead, Cuomo management says