I Drive Colorado / Yo Manejo Colorado
“I DRIVE COLORADO” is a coalition of pro-immigrant organizations working in conjunction with “Licencias para Todos” will be launching off a new campaign to fix the implementation of SB-251.
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I Drive Colorado introduced several bills improving the implementation of SB251. SB251 was passed in 2014 and created a new self-funded fee for service license and id for Coloradans who are immigrants. Any Coloradan who has temporary status or is undocumented can apply for an id or license through this program. The program is self-funded, with Coloradans who qualify for the program paying more than 3 times the amount of citizens and permanent residents.
SB251 enjoys broad public support. Law enforcement agencies, major news organizations, as well as hundreds of business and faith communities endorsed the law as it was introduced after a grassroots effort collected more than 35,000 signatures.
In 2015 Republicans on the Joint Budget Committee took the unprecedented action of refusing spending authority to the Department of Revenue, holding hostage over $166,000 in fees paid by Coloradans who are immigrants. The fees were meant to expand and implement the program from 5 offices to 15. Instead, the Department of Revenue was forced to reduce the number of offices offering the license or id to just three; Denver, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction.
In 2016 the I Drive Colorado campaign worked on 3 bills to fix the defunded SB-251 program:
HB-1335 sponsored by Rep. Pabon PASSED this year and it changed the law to make it a deceptive trade practice to sell public appointments and services (aka SB-251 appointments) that are available to the community for free. It will also make the selling of public goods and services a class one misdemeanor. This bill aims at tackling the sale of SB-251 appointments on the black market and has the ultimate goal of stopping this practice to free up SB-251 appointments for people trying to apply through the system established by the DMV.
HB-1415 sponsored by Rep. Pabon passed this year and it changed the law so that all Sb-251 applicants that fail their driving test can go to a 3rd party private testing center and return to any SB-251 DMV office within 60 days to get their license without having to schedule a new appointment. This will free up more appointments for all SB-251 applicants
HB-1274 sponsored by Representative Singer works to improve the SB251 Driver’s License program for immigrants by opening 6 additional offices, eliminating the 66,000 appointment cap set last year by the JBC, and including the acceptance of Social Security Numbers. SB251 is a self-funded program. The fees paid by immigrants are 3 times more for a Driver’s Permit and License than the standard state License program, to cover all indirect and direct costs. HB-1274 will allow for all Colorado residents to have greater access a driver’s licenses, insurance and registration. Supporting and prioritizing HB-1274 allows for Coloradans to safely drive their children to school, to the doctor and themselves to work.