What is the problem? Thousands of Floridians can’t get a driver’s license
Currently Florida is restricting access to driver’s licenses that results in more unlicensed, untrained and uninsured drivers on our roads, severely endangering public safety and having an adverse effect on accident frequency and increased insurance rates for all drivers
How can Florida solve it? Require Driver’s Licenses for ALL Florida drivers
Florida should follow over eleven (11) other states, including Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah that passed legislation where they have recognized the benefits to public and road safety by allowing potential drivers, irrespective of immigration status, to get trained and tested to receive their licenses that are REAL ID compliant. This will benefit all Floridians by making our roads safer, generating new sources of state revenues, thereby stimulating our economy.
What are the economic benefits to granting driver’s license to all Florida residents?
State revenue: Undocumented motorists would need to pay $48 to get a license:
- If 50% of the undocumented immigrants in Florida are of legal age to apply for a driver’s license, 365,000 immigrants would be eligible to receive their license, and if half of them took and passed the test for a license the state would receive $8.76 million in new revenue. If 75% of these motorists got licenses, the state would receive $13.1 million in new revenue, which would be collected annually.
Economic participation: Immigrants who can drive legally are more likely to work, spend, and contribute to our economy. A 2011 Oregon Department of Transportation study found that:
- Undocumented community members had trouble making large purchases and reduced their activities outside the home because they could not get driver’s licenses,
- Undocumented workers also risk losing jobs due to their inability to get to and from work.
- Immigrant families were also less able to get to grocery stores or malls and are limited in their purchases because they have to walk.
Driver’s Licenses are a basic necessity for Florida’s families, workers and students
- Driving is a basic necessity in Florida: Florida is known for its sprawl, suburban development and limited public transportation. Most people need to drive to get to school, work, church or the hospital. Driving anywhere is a basic necessity and Floridians can’t afford to stay at home when they need to work to survive.
- Driving can be a matter of life or death: Nowadays, many Floridians could end up in jail for driving without a driver’s license while taking a loved one to the hospital or assisting someone during an emergency
- Driving is important for the prosperity of Florida’s families: When all Floridians are able to get a Driver’s License, they will be able to take their children to school daily so they don’t miss class, visit the doctor more frequently and reduce the risk of preventable health problems, visit their places of worship, go to college, etc.
Will this comply with the Federal REAL ID Act of 2005?
Yes. A state legislation for Driver’s Licenses can will comply with the Federal REAL ID Act of 2005, which requires that any driving documents that a state issues to anyone without lawful immigration status must be visually distinct from regular licenses, and must state on their face that they are not valid for federal identification purposes. This driver license and identification cards legislation would provide a reasonable solution that complies with the REAL ID Act, but also enables undocumented drivers to drive legally.