UPDATE: Despite a large percentage of residents opposing the measure, the Green Light Bill passed the Assembly and is set to be voted on in the Senate.
The New York State Assembly announced it will pass the Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act, also known as the Green Light Bill. The controversial bill would allow undocumented immigrants in New York to apply for a drivers license.
Governor Andrew Cuomo supports the bill and says he will sign off on the bill if passed. He believes the bill would improve road safety.
The Driver’s License and Privacy Act would expand the types of proof of identity that could be submitted with an application for a non-commercial driver’s license.
Under the new law, applicants could submit a signed affidavit that they have not been issued a social security number, instead of providing a social security card.
Twelve states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have enacted similar legislation.
A 2017 Stanford University study found that California’s law expanding access to drivers’ licenses led to a drop in hit-and-run accidents between seven and 10 percent, or approximately 4,000 fewer hit-and-run accidents, and saving not-at-fault drivers $3.5 million in out-of-pocket expenses for car repairs.
Proponents of the bill say the change will generate an estimated $57 million in combined government revenues annual.