Half of California Driver’s Licenses Issued to Undocumented Residents

Half of California Driver’s Licenses Issued to Undocumented Residents

According to the Los Angeles Times, an estimated 605,000 licenses were issued last year under Assembly Bill 60, the measure passed last year that grants the right to a California driver’s license to people in the country illegally. The figure accounts for almost half of all licenses issued in California last year. Officer Josh Nelson, spokesman for the California Highway Patrol, suggested the measure likely improved highway safety in California. “Knowing that these drivers are being properly trained in order to get their licenses, it would only make sense that the roads would be safer,” he said.

DMV Discriminates Against Transgender Motorists (Again)

DMV Discriminates Against Transgender Motorists (Again)

DMV discriminates against transgender motorists again, this time in Louisiana. (You may recall we previously reported a South Carolina teen who was prohibited from wearing makeup in her driver’s license photo. South Carolina’s DMV relented after the ACLU took the case.) It’s the same story here, just a different state. 21-year-old Denham Springs resident Alexandra Glover says the clerk told her she was trying to misrepresent her gender by wearing makeup. “You don’t look like a man,” she was told. The state’s rationale is the same that South Carolina used before realizing how ludicrous it was: DMV requires that the license photo accurately reflect the motorist’s usual appearance. The obvious problem is that DMV has no way of knowing what a motorist’s “usual appearance” is. When DMV discriminates against transgender motorists, there are remedies they can pursue. If you or anyone you know has suffered such discrimination, contact the ACLU or our office immediately.

Teen Fatalities Decreased in Connecticut

Teen Fatalities Decreased in Connecticut

A new report in Connecticut indicates a significant reduction in crashes causing injury or death in which a 16- or 17-year-old was driving. The report credits the state’s graduated driver licensing program as a principal reason for the decline. Since 2004, there has been an 84 percent decrease in fatalities for 16- and 17-year-old drivers and their passengers and a 64 percent decrease since 2008. Despite the success of the graduated license program, DMV Commissioner Andres Ayala said statistics show more young people are choosing to skip the rules associated with a graduated driver’s license and wait until they turn 18.

Motorist Sues for Interpreter on Written Test

Motorist Sues for Interpreter on Written Test

An Italian immigrant is suing the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles for refusing to translate the written driver’s license exam or allow for an interpreter. Federal law requires any agency receiving federal funds to accommodate folks with limited English proficiency. Apparently Rhode Island’s DMV will only allow the motorist to take the exam in English, Spanish or Portuguese.

Bill Would License 18-year-olds for Big Rigs

Bill Would License 18-year-olds for Big Rigs

According to Forbes magazine, truck driving is one of the country’s ten deadliest jobs. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teens are the country’s deadliest drivers. And Congress will soon put them together if it passes a new rider to the federal highway construction bill. True, teens are already able to drive big rigs within most states in the Union. Currently, however, federal law prevents them from driving across state lines in interstate commerce. The controversial provision was inserted in the 1,000-plus-page bill by the Senate Commerce Committee, chaired by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.). “Under current federal law, a 20-year-old holder of a commercial driver’s license in New York City can drive a truck to Buffalo, but not across the Hudson to Newark,” Hill said. “Similarly, a driver in Philadelphia can drive to Pittsburgh but not down the road to Wilmington or across a bridge to Camden. This legislation sets up a pilot program (with restrictions that include a prohibition on operating more than 100 miles from the border of the licensing state) so that states could consider limited changes to current restrictions on younger commercial drivers that would also have to secure the approval of the U.S. Secretary of Transportation before they could go into effect.”

DMV Employee Admits to Taking Bribes

DMV Employee Admits to Taking Bribes

The Orange County Register is reporting that a former DMV employee last Friday admitted to accepting bribes in return for giving out California driver’s licenses. Jose Alberto Carrillo pleaded guilty to felony counts of altering public documents and computer access and fraud. He was sentenced to three years of formal probation and 40 hours of community service. The charges stem from two bribes Carrillo took in May and June of 2012 in exchange for giving licenses to people who could not legally obtain them. Apparently prosecutors objected to the sentence as inadequate.