The measure would clarify SB251 Driver’s Licenses Program for Coloradan Immigrants, Provide Access to Dreamers
DENVER, CO – SB18-108 passed the Colorado State Senate today 25-10 with strong bipartisan support. This legislation seeks to clarify eligibility for the state’s SB251 driver’s license program for Coloradan immigrants by including valid Social Security Numbers as a qualifying document and also works to improve the program’s renewals process.
The Road and Community Safety Act (SB13-251) is an indispensable program that has provided driver’s licenses, permits and IDs to over 50,000 undocumented Coloradans, since August 2014. However, there are inefficiencies in the program that significantly limits the access of Coloradan applicants to driver licenses, permits and IDs, which SB-108 seeks to address.
Currently, thousands of Colorado residents cannot obtain a driver’s license because they have a valid Social Security Number rather than an Individual Tax Identification Number, which is the sole qualifying document to apply under SB-251. As Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) programs continue to face Federal threats, an additional 18,700 Coloradans with DACA and TPS are currently at risk of losing their ability to obtain or renew their driver licenses completely.
For this reason, SB-108 sponsors Sen. Don Coram, Sen. Larry Crowder, Rep. Jeni Arndt and Rep. Jonathan Singer have come together to move forward this bipartisan effort. “A driver license is essential to access education, work, and healthcare and to fully participate in our community. It is imperative we pass SB-108 to implement these necessary changes,” said Rep. Jonathan Singer.
“I am grateful to see that our Colorado State Senate passed SB-108 with strong bipartisan support. This bill will allow me to have continued access to a driver license, which is so important for the wellbeing of my children,” said Laura Peniche, member of I Drive CO and DACA beneficiary.
Additionally, the wait time for a Colorado resident to obtain or renew their driver’s license under SB-251 can range from three months to two years.
“Driver’s licenses make it possible for Coloradans to get to the hospital or see their doctor when they need to, secure basic life necessities such as healthy food, safe housing, and job opportunities, and fully take part in the life of their community. All those things should be accessible to everyone, regardless of immigration status, said Joe Sammen, Executive Director of the Center for Health Progress. “Healthier immigrant communities mean a better economy, reduced healthcare costs, and increased safety for all Coloradans.”
The I Drive Colorado Campaign includes over 40 organizations dedicated to making our communities and roads safer and improving access for undocumented Coloradans to licenses and Identification documents.