California's controversial A.B.60 licensing program-allowing undocumented motorists to obtain valid driver's licenses-is experiencing the problems of success. Six months into the new law, the DMV has received about 642,000 applications and issued about 341,000 driver's licenses. The influx of applications has caused a backlog across the state.
New procedures, however, promise to streamline the process and speed up the approval. Recently DMV has expanded the number of acceptable documents applicants may submit to establish their identity, which in turn reduces the number of applications sent for "secondary review."
Among the documents now accepted are
- California residency documents issued by any government within the U.S. (not just the federal government);
- Consular cards from Colombia and Ecuador;
- Identification cards from Ecuador;
- Passports from Tonga, Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea.
By accepting more types of documents as proof of identity, DMV hopes to reduce the number of applications sent for "secondary review" by examiners.
Erika Paz, who for the past year has mobilized many undocumented Inland residents to apply for licenses, said she's heard from many people who have waited about six months to hear from the DMV in order to schedule their secondary review interviews. But things are improving.
"Something that's good is we're seeing a lot more people get their letters to go to their interview," Paz said. "We're seeing movement."