Thursday, August 31, 2023

Undocumented Massachusetts immigrants can now get a drivers license 

The Registry of Motor Vehicles expects more than 100,000 new applicants for road tests over the next six months, thanks to a new state law.

Driving the news: The law that lets people apply for a state-issued driver's license regardless of immigration status took effect last Saturday.

Why it matters: It stands to benefit thousands of undocumented immigrants who need to drive to work, doctor's appointments and their children's schools.

Zoom out: 18 other states have similar laws on the books.

Of note: Applicants in these states are only eligible to apply for state-issued driver's licenses. They cannot get federally standardized REAL ID licenses, which people can use to fly or enter military bases.

  • Nor can these licenses be used to vote in state or federal elections.

To prepare for the potential influx of applicants, the RMV is organizing information tents and multilingual resources at locations across Massachusetts, NBC Boston reported.

  • The RMV is also adding temporary road test locations in Revere and Lynn, which have large immigrant populations.

What to know: Applicants need proof of identity and date of birth, proof of residence in Massachusetts and a Social Security number or an affidavit.

  • Applicants can either print the affidavit form off the website and get it notarized or request it at the RMV and sign it in front of an official.
  • They must make an appointment and be prepared to pay fees for the learner’s permit ($30), the practical test ($35) and the license ($50).

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