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What is AB 60 and How Can it Make California Roadways Safer?

The first of the year is an important time for policymakers, as numerous bills signed into law the previous year officially take of effect. In addition to plastic bag bans, campus sexual assault laws, and concussion protocol for youth football, one of the most significant laws to take effect in 2015 was California Assembly Bill 60. AB 60 makes it possible for undocumented immigrants to apply for and obtain California driver's licenses.

Main points about AB 60 include:

  • Undocumented immigrants will be allowed to apply for a California driver's license and will not have to show proof of lawful residence in the U.S.
  • Undocumented immigrants must show proof of California residency, pass written and behind-the-wheel tests, and show proof of auto insurance.
  • AB 60 will allow undocumented drivers to apply for any non-commercial driver's license, including Class C licenses (for most cars and trucks), Class M1/M2 (motorcycles), and non-commercial Class A or B (for travel trailers and most RVs).
  • AB 60 driver's licenses cannot be used for federal purposes.
  • AB 60 contains protections against discrimination; law enforcement cannot use an AB 60 license as a basis to arrested undocumented immigrants or share their information with other government agencies.

With the passing of AB 60, California joined nine states and the District of Columbia in allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain valid driver's licenses. The idea behind AB 60 is that it ensures more drivers are properly trained, licensed, and insured, thereby making California roadways safer. Without AB 60, many undocumented drivers - who were uninsured and not adequately trained to drive on CA roads - would still continue to drive.

AB 60 officially went into effect on January 1, 2015, and thousands of undocumented residents throughout the state have already applied for driver's licenses. Within the next three years, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) expects to handle as many as 1.4 million AB 60 applications.

Although many undocumented drivers are benefiting from AB 60, some individuals may have difficulties obtaining a driver's license if they have prior traffic offenses, outstanding citations, criminal convictions, or open cases. In these situations, individuals may be able to work with attorneys to help them explore their options for resolving any outstanding issues before applying for an AB 60 driver's license.

If you have questions about your record and AB 60 licenses, call the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. to learn more about your case.