Drivers’ Licenses for the Undocumented Protect the Rest of Us

Arguments rejecting the idea of allowing undocumented US residents to qualify for drivers’ licenses are based on ignorance and racism, and ignore the basic facts that such licensing serves to substantially protect the rest of us.

The knee-jerk reaction of so many people when presented with the idea of states allowing persons in the country illegally to qualify for drivers’ licenses seems to assume that these people would not be driving without licenses. What stupidity. They are out there on the back roads and on interstate highways, of every state in the union, driving motor vehicles, despite never having had the need to read a drivers’ handbook in order to learn the rules of


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the road, without ever having to learn basic driving techniques in order to pass a DMV driving test, and without the documentation to legally and properly register a motor vehicle in their own name and carry legally obtained liability insurance.

Come now, which is the preferred scenario for a

citizen-motorist whose vehicle and body are injured in a roadway collision caused by the “other” party:

1) The “other” party has a valid state-issued drivers’ license that shows their current address. Their vehicle is legally registered in their name, at their resident address, and the DMV has verified the up-to-date insurance coverage, or

2) The “other” party has no state issued drivers’ license, and can provide no verifiable proof of his legal name or residence. The only registration he has for the vehicle he was driving is in the name of his “friend” who lets him use it, but he doesn’t know if the address on the registration is current or not. He doesn’t know if his “friend” has insurance on the car. When checking with the DMV, it turns out the registration has not been current for five years. Letters you send to the address the driver gave you and to the address on the five-year-old registration are returned by the Post Office as “undeliverable”. No one ever heard of either person at the phone number you were provided.


Granted, not every undocumented driver with a valid drivers’ license will have valid insurance, but many more will than those without licenses, and with that license, you have a substantially greater chance of finding them if you need to serve a lawsuit for your damages.


Stop seeing this as a racist issue; it’s not the “Damn Illegals” taking our jobs, stealing benefits, and not paying taxes. The reality is, they do the work that will not otherwise be done, and their payroll and sales taxes alone more than pay for what in reality is a small percentage of public benefits for which the undocumented can quality, and they will drive on the roads: Make the roads safer for the rest of us, as was just done this week in California.

La County Sheriff Lee Baca and LA Police Chief Charlie Beck both support the new law permitting undocumented residents to qualify for drivers’ licenses. Beck is quoted as calling the new law “a big step forward in making our roads safer”. Additional facts in support that those in law enforcement have cited include the unfair effect of laws on vehicle impounding at drunk-driving checkpoints that require that impounding of the vehicles of sober drivers who cannot produce valid drivers’ licenses and the high instance of hit-and-run accidents among driver who do not have, or cannot get, insurance, and among unlicensed drivers.

The reaction? Threats of yet another recall, aimed at California Governor Jerry Brown, for signing the bill into law. But recalls are another issue for another day.

About theHoundDawg

For many years as a lawyer, I saw much of the good and bad of society, and did what I could to right many wrongs. The lack of understanding of what is good and bad, right and wrong, just and unjust, as evidenced by such events as the election of King W as president, (who as such far surpassed the evil of richard nixon but not quite that of ronald reagan) lead me in a new direction, to spend my time trying to understand what is happening to our society, to try as best I can to spread my insights to others, and along the way to maybe even eke out a living through the internet.
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One Response to Drivers’ Licenses for the Undocumented Protect the Rest of Us

  1. 2much says:

    Race and fear are some of the (corporate)media’s best tools, used frequently. People need to look out for their own best interests and quit the media-induced paranoia that only helps keep you looking the other way.

    They have a lot of stoopid laws where I live, but there is no way on earth that a car could be on the road more than 20 minutes and not have insurance and registration. That does not mean every driver has a valid license, but the penalties for NOT having a valid license in the case of an accident are so0Oo0oOo severe, unlicensed drivers are more careful than the rest. Not that ‘the rest’ are all that careful.

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