Rep. Juan Candelaria

May 19, 2015


State Representative Juan Candelaria (D-New Haven) today led the House of Representatives on a debate and passage of a bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to present birth certificates as a secondary form of proof of identity as well as foreign national identification cards when soliciting driver's licenses.

Current law, passed in 2013 and which Candelaria was instrumental in championing, lists a number of types of identification that can be used to establish identity. Foreign birth certificates are not included in the secondary document list.

"I have heard from constituents and advocates about the many difficulties faced by the same individuals the original legislation tried to help and I felt the need to do something about it," Rep. Candelaria said.

The new legislation, H.B. 6366 will allow applicants to submit a copy of their foreign birth certificate along with one item from the primary document list at the time of application for a drive-only license. Other admissible secondary items include marriage certificates issued by any state or U.S. territory, a baptismal certificate and or a certified school transcript.

Candelaria said, "The response to the undocumented drivers program which became effective last January has been strong. We have seen hundreds of responsible individuals come out of the shadows to try to put their driving affairs in order. However, there are many more people who haven't been able to benefit from the program."

Applicants for the program still have to provide the Department of Motor Vehicles proof of residency for a minimum of 90 days in the state and provide two forms of identification. The drivers' licenses do not offer any other benefit and are not admissible for voting in state or local elections.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. The legislative session adjourns June 3.

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