STATE HOUSE – Sen. Frank A. Ciccone III and Rep. Anastasia
P. Williams held a press conference in the Senate Lounge of the State House
concerning legislation (2017-S 0183
/ 2017-H 5686)
they have reintroduced that would allow the Department of Motor Vehicles
(RIDMV) to issue driving privilege licenses and permits to applicants unable to
establish lawful presence in the United States. The licenses and permit
would not be valid for identification purposes.
“We need to ensure that all drivers, regardless of their
immigration status, are trained, tested and insured when driving on our roads,”
said Senator Ciccone (D-Dist. 7, Providence, North Providence). “This is a
safety issue as well as an economic issue. If the worst was to happen and
an accident occurs involving an undocumented person driving, our residents and
businesses are protected far better if this legislation is enacted as opposed
to the current status quo.”
“The purpose of this legislation is to ensure that all
drivers on the road are trained and knowledgeable about our traffic safety laws
and safe motor vehicle operation. Road safety benefits us all. The
only true danger to legal residents regarding this legislation is if this bill
is not passed and unfit drivers are on the road. It would seem to be a
common sense approach that other states have already enacted,” said
Representative Williams (D-Dist. 9, Providence).
Also in attendance at the press conference were Sen. Ana B.
Quezada (D-Dist. 2, Providence), Rep. Marcia Ranglin-Vassell (D-Dist. 5,
Providence), Rep. Aaron Regunberg (D_Dist. 4, Providence), and Rep. Ramon A.
Perez (D-Dist. 13, Providence, Johnston).
Currently, those unable to establish a lawful presence in
the U.S. are unable to produce the documentation, such as a Social Security
number, that state law requires for the issuing of a driver’s license.
The new legislation would still require certain documentation, such as a
foreign birth certificate, or other legal documents in order to issue the
driving privilege license or permit. Also, neither the permit nor license
would be usable for federal or state identification purposes.
The cosponsors of the legislation are Sen. Donna M.
Nesselbush (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket, North Providence), Sen. Ana B. Quezada
(D-Dist. 2, Providence), Sen. Elizabeth A. Crowley (D-Dist. 16, Central Falls,
Pawtucket), and Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence), Rep.
Scott A. Slater (D-Dist. 10, Providence), Rep. Shelby Maldonado (D-Dist. 56,
Central Falls), Representative Perez, and Representative Regunberg.