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Archived: EDITORIAL: Governor Brown: Sign the Driver’s License Bill

Assemblyman Gilbert Cedillo’s bill to allow some undocumented immigrants who qualify for federal deferred action to get California driver’s licenses has passed in the legislature and only needs the governor’s signature to become law.

Making AB 2189 law will not only benefit an estimated 450,000 undocumented youth who will be allowed for the first time to receive a state issued license, it will also benefit the rest of us who should feel safer knowing that more of the drivers on our streets are licensed, that they have insurance and have passed required driving tests.

It’s too bad that there is such opposition to granting drivers licenses to all undocumented immigrants qualified to drive. Self-righteousness should never top safety as far as we are concerned.

Licensed drivers are more likely to have auto insurance, a win for the economy as well as California drivers.

We are also convinced that the large number of hit and runs would diminish because licensed drivers do not fear losing their vehicle when involved in an accident.

Driver’s licenses should only entitle a driver to legally drive a car.

We’re not sure when a driver’s license became an identity card, that was never its original intent. The same has occurred with Social Security numbers, where the original legal intent was to report wages, not anything else.

In any case, we feel we would all be a lot safer if we made it possible for more of the drivers on our roads to get a driver’s license.

Imagine how much safer law enforcement would be if they knew who they are stopping.

As for the criminal background of those applying for a license, the DMV already checks for correct Social Security numbers, tickets and warrants and vehicle registration fees owed, AB 2189 means they will be keeping track of even more drivers.

Assemblyman Cedillo has been fighting this cause for years, as has the legislature that has on more than one occasion voted to pass such common sense legislation.

Gov. Brown, it’s time to do the right thing and sign AB 2189 into law.