On Monday, December 16, undocumented immigrants will be able to apply for driver’s licenses at New York State Department of Motor Vehicle offices. This opportunity comes because of the campaign waged last Spring by the Green Light Coalition, the New York Immigration Coalition, and many local organizations. An estimated 30,000 Long Islanders are expected to apply under the Green Light Act over the coming year.
While the state has yet to issue formal guidance, those who wish to apply should begin to get ready now. Under the law, an unexpired foreign passport will be accepted as proof of age and is worth 4 points towards proof of identity. An unexpired foreign driver’s license with a photo on it will also count as 4 points and as proof of age. A Consular ID Card will be accepted as proof of age and count for 4 points towards identity. We are waiting to hear what other documents may be acceptable and count as points towards the license.
While much of the focus since the passage of Greenlight has been on the identity documents, most applicants will still have to pass the written and driving tests. Study of the manual now is strongly encouraged. You can access it here.
I have been asked whether the non-driver state ID will now be available to undocumented immigrants. As far as I know, it won’t.