I Drive Colorado / Yo Manejo Colorado

“I DRIVE COLORADO” is a coalition of pro-immigrant organizations working to pass the Eligibility Colorado Road And Community Safety Act (bill number SB18-108), which was assigned to the Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee. 

The Colorado Road and Community Safety Act, SB-251, provided drivers licenses to all Colorado residents, regardless of immigration status. In August of 2014, five Department of Motor Vehicle offices implemented the program, each offering 31 appointments per day. The SB-251 program has provided documents to nearly 45,000 Coloradans, however, there are major inefficiencies resulting from the initial legislation.

SB18-108 seeks to clarify eligibility of identification documents by including valid Social Security Numbers and would also streamline the renewal process:


  • Based on an oversight in the original 2013 legislation, thousands of longtime Colorado residents are unable to access SB-251 licenses. Before the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, immigrants received valid Social Security Numbers. Since that time, there are also individuals who received temporary status and were granted Social Security Numbers. Because these individuals previously received Social Security Numbers they cannot apply for Individual Tax identification Numbers, the sole qualifying eligibility document for SB-251 licenses. Drafting errors should never permanently hobble our government programs.


  • Unlike traditional Colorado licenses, the SB-251 documents are valid only for three years and cannot be renewed online. Renewals will begin in August of 2017 and the increased demand for renewal appointments will overload an already bloated system. We need to remove the bureaucratic red tape and allow SB-251 licenses to be renewed online and through any Department of Motor Vehicle office. Our commitment to good government means that we have an efficient and functioning government, one that effectively serves Coloradans at the local level.


  • Across the agricultural sector, farmers and producers have seen the economic benefits of SB-251 licences. In fact, the Colorado Dairy Farmers support HB-1206, recognizing the benefits for its rural workforce. Rural health advocates have also noted the importance of increasing transportation access in some of the most isolated areas of the state. The Tri-County Health Network in southwest Colorado endorsed the legislation, arguing that transportation barriers are one the greatest challenges facing rural health care consumers.
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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.