Bill Would Allow Illegal Immigrants to Get MN Driver's Licenses

Updated: 03/21/2013 2:49 PM KSTP.com By: Jay Kolls

A proposed bill would give illegal immigrants the privilege of owning a valid Minnesota driver's license. 

The bill's author, Representative Karen Clark, (DFL) Minneapolis, says the idea behind this push is to make the roads safer for everyone.

Rep. Clark says it is not an immigration issue. Clark says undocumented workers would have to show a passport, birth certificate, or any other form of identification from their country of origin and then sign a form stating the address they have given in Minnesota is valid. In essence, illegal immigrants, like any other Minnesotan, could get the driver's license without verification of address or residency. Rep. Clark says they would still have to pass driver's tests and road exams to get the license.

Rep. Clark says once undocumented people get a driver's license it allows them to get car insurance as well. Clark says the combination of driver training and getting insurance will make the roads safer for everyone. Rep. Clark says there would be no additional costs to taxpayers because the undocumented people would pay for the licenses and that would cover any extra expense.

State Senator, Mary Kiffmeyer, (R) Big Lake, disagrees with the bill. She says giving a license to illegal immigrants, without verification of address, opens the door to possible identification fraud and even illegal voting. Sen. Kiffmeyer says the driver's license of an illegal immigrant would look identical to any other license, and that would hinder identifying possible illegal aliens by law enforcement or federal officials.