Senators, Chairman: Charles W. Carrico, Sr, Stephen D. Newman, Creigh Deeds , David W. Marsden, Barbara A. Favola, John A. Cosgrove, Jr., John S. Edwards, Jennifer T. Wexton, Bill R. DeSteph, Jr., Amanda F. Chase, David R. Suetterlein, Jennifer L. McClellan, and Mark J. Peake
The undersigned urge all members of the Virginia Senate Transportation Committee to support SB 621 that would authorize the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue Driver Privilege Card to undocumented immigrants who meet certain qualifications.
If passed, this law would lead to safer roads for all drivers in the Commonwealth. Such reforms would insure that all drivers on the road take the same tests, meet minimum safety standards, and are properly insured, outcomes that would benefit all Virginians
Twelve jurisdictions including the District of Columbia have already expanded access to driving privilege card to undocumented immigrants and as a result have seen a bigger drop in traffic related fatalities than the nation as a whole.
Insurance rates would also likely drop as a result of safer roads and a decrease in the number of uninsured drivers.
The holders of this driver privilege card would not be able to use it for voting privileges. This card would not "permit an individual to waive any part of the driver examination"
.It is also important to consider that this would provide enormous relief for hard-working families who continue to be criminalized for ordinary conduct often vital to holding a job and caring for their loved ones like taking their children to school, attending church or visiting a sick relative at the hospital.
Criminal charges for driving without a license play a prominent role in the process by which most undocumented immigrants in Virginia are brought to the attention of immigration authorities. It follows that expanding access to driver’s licenses would dramatically increase community stability and protect many families from being torn apart. It would also contribute to the reduction of fear of law enforcement thereby facilitating effective community policing efforts.
We urge you to support the increase of road safety as well as hardworking immigrant families by voting this bill out of the Transportation Committee so that it can be heard by the full Senate.