I Drive Colorado / Yo Manejo Colorado

“I DRIVE COLORADO” is a coalition of pro-immigrant organizations helped pass the Eligibility Colorado Road And Community Safety Act of 2018. It followed the Colorado Road and Community Safety Act, SB-251, to increase access to driver’s licenses in Colorado.

Up until 1999, all immigrants had access to a driver’s license in Colorado irrespective of their immigration status. Driving without a license has resulted in tickets, vehicle impoundment, arrests, and thousands of deportations.

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.

What is SB-251?

It is a law passed in 2013 to make Colorado driver’s licenses available to all regardless of their immigration status. Immigrant communities and allies fought for 10 years to make this a reality. 

What will my license look like? 

It has language on the front to distinguish it from Real ID license. 

Who is eligible? 

Anyone with the required documents is eligible to acquire a new license. 

How can I use my license? 

You can use your SB-251 license to drive and to identify yourself to police officers, for example in a traffic stop and as a state-issued ID. As of January 2020, you will not be able to use your SB-252 license to board an airplane. It does not make you eligible for any public benefits that you eligible for before getting a driver’s license, and does not authorize you to work of give you the right to vote. 

Have several traffic tickets and haven’t been able to pay them off? 

Please take care of them before applying for an SB-251 license. Again, talk to an attorney if you have any concerns. Or, if you are Mexican, contact the Mexican Consulate for assistance on clearing your traffic tickets. 

In 2019, the coalition of pro-immigrant organizations seeks to increase access to rural Coloradans.


  • Across the agricultural sector, farmers and producers have seen the economic benefits of SB-251 licences. In fact, the Colorado Dairy Farmers supported 2018’s 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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Since 2016, the I Drive Colorado campaign worked on several bills to fix the defunded SB-251 program:


SB18-108 allows a person to present a social security number as an alternative to a taxpayer identification card. The bill allows the license or identification card to be reissued or renewed in accordance with the process used for other licenses and identification cards. A person whose license is lost or stolen may obtain a replacement without renewing the license. $108,992 is appropriated to the department of revenue from the licensing services cash fund to implement the bill.


HB-1335 sponsored by Rep. Pabon PASSED in 2016 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 Rep. Singer and Sen. Ulibarri passed in 2016 to repeal the footnote reducing the number of offices when the appropriation is spent. 


SB18-108 sponsored by Sen. Crowder, Sen. Coram, Sen. Arndt, and Rep. Singer passed in 2018 allows for online renewals and for people who were issued Social Security numbers who no longer have legal status to apply for SB-251 licenses. 


SB19-139 sponsored by Sen. Coram, Sen. Moreno, and Rep. Singer passed in 2019 to open seven new offices across the state process SB-251 licenses.