The Connecticut Senate on Thursday approved granting driver’s licenses to immigrants without regard for their legal status in the United States.
In a 19-16 vote, the Senate on Thursday morning passed the measure, which had already been approved last week by the lower house and has the support of Gov. Daniel Malloy.
The measure, which will enter into force in January 2015, demands that people requesting driver’s licenses prove their identity with two documents and show that they have resided in the state for at least 90 days.
In addition, the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles will demand that applicants pass driving tests and not have a criminal record in the state.
Finally, the document will show that it is valid only for driving and will have to be renewed every three years, instead of every six years like regular driver’s licenses.
“This bill is first and foremost about public safety. It’s about knowing who is driving on our roads, and doing everything we can to make sure those drivers are safe and that they’re operating registered, insured vehicles,” said Malloy in a statement after the Senate vote.
A spokesperson for Malloy told Efe that it still has not been decided when the governor will sign the measure.
“It should also be noted that, like many issues, action on the federal level would address this problem in an even more comprehensive and sensible way. I continue to support those broader efforts at national reform, and urge Congress to follow the example being set by Connecticut and other states,” the governor said.
Connecticut is joining others states where similar legislative proposals either are being discussed or have been approved. Such measures have been approved in Illinois and Oregon, and they are being studied in about a dozen other states, including North Carolina and Colorado.
New Mexico and Washington were the first states to authorize driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.