8 New Offices Are Opened for Licenses for Undocumented Coloradans: Schedule Your Appointment Today!
Posted: April 8, 2022
It's now easier than ever to apply for drivers license or ID in Colorado if you're undocumented!Take Action
The Colorado Road and Community Safety Act (CO-RCSA), also known as SB-251, provides drivers licenses to all Colorado residents, regardless of immigration status. The 19 DMV offices running the SB-251 program have provided documents to almost 150,000 Coloradans as of 2020. To make an appointment, call 303-205-2335 or visit the DMV website.
Will my license look different from non SB-251 licenses?
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. It does not make you eligible for any public benefits that you aren’t eligible for before getting a driver’s license, and does not authorize you to work or give you the right to vote. Starting in May, 2023, everyone will need a real-ID to fly. Starting then, a “marked license” will not be accepted in airports. Instead, people will have to use a passport from their home country or a work permit.
What if I have traffic tickets that I haven’t paid?
What if I have a prior deportation, criminal history, or a history of use of fraudulent documents?
Up until 1998, all immigrants had access to a driver’s license in Colorado, irrespective of their immigration status. When law and policy changed to block undocumented Coloradans from accessing a license, many had to drive without one. This lead to tickets, vehicle impoundment, arrests, and thousands of deportations. Then, in 2001, a group of undocumented immigrants organized to fight for driver’s licenses for their community. In 2013, they finally succeeded, and SB-251 passed into law! Since then, we’ve worked to pass five more bills making the program more effective and accessible to all.
More and more states are recognizing that our roads and our communities are safer when everyone has access to a driver’s license. In addition to Colorado, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Washington, D.C. all allow undocumented immigrants to receive a license.
Since the passage of SB251, we’ve advocated and successfully passed five more bills to make the program fairer, more efficient, and more accessible to all:
- SB18-108: This bill lets a person use a social security card as an alternative to a taxpayer identification card (ITIN). It also opens the option for online renewals for SB251 driver licenses. In addition, a person whose license is lost or stolen can get a replacement without renewing the license. Sponsored by Sen. Crowder, Sen. Coram, Rep. Arndt, and Rep. Singer.
- HB16-1335: This bill makes it illegal to sell public appointments and services, including SB-251 appointments. Its goal is to end the black market sale of SB-251 appointments, so more appointments are available to people using the free system established through the DMV. Sponsored by Rep. Pabon.
- HB16-1415: This bill allows all SB-251 applicants who fail their driving test to 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. Sponsored by Rep. Pabon.
- HB16-1274: This bill got rid of a footnote in SB-251 that would have reduced the number of DMV offices offering SB-251 services after a certain number of licenses had been given out. This bill allows the program to run indefinitely. Sponsored by Rep. Singer and Sen. Ulibarri.
- SB19-139: This bill opened seven new offices across the state that process SB-251 licenses. An office opened in Glenwood Springs, Montrose, Durango, Lamar, Pueblo, Alamosa, and Ft Morgan. Sponsored by Sen. Coram, Sen. Moreno, and Rep. Singer.
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