Today, Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) put the Colorado Road and Community Safety Act (SB 13-251) into law. It will go into effect on August 1, 2014.
Sen. Jessie Ulibarri (D-Commerce City) moved the legislation through the legislature with the backing of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police, the County Sheriffs of Colorado, community leaders and faith organizations. It allows temporarily documented and undocumented noncitizen residents to obtain a Colorado driver’s license. The license can only be used to drive in Colorado. The license will state clearly on its face that it cannot be used for federal identification, voting or public benefit purposes. As of now, some immigrant Coloradans cannot obtain a license, even though immigrants live in every county in Colorado and some continue to drive without access to a license or insurance. “Our roads will be safer when we can properly ID everyone who drives on them. These licenses will allow many of our neighbors to get insured, and take responsibility for their actions on the roads. In fact, we estimate that thousands more Colorado drivers will get insured because of this law,” said Sen. Ulibarri. To get a license, the applicants must pass the driver safety tests and provide (1) proof of Colorado residency, (2) proof of filing a Colorado tax return, (3) a federal taxpayer identification number, and (4) proof of identity given by the country of origin. The new licenses will cost $41 to cover the full cost of implementation at no expense to the taxpayers. Once the license is obtained, it will be valid for three years. Maryland, Utah, Washington, Illinois, and New Mexico have passed similar policies.