Support HB1316 that would provide Temporary Driver's License to aspiring Americans

House Transportation Sub-Committee Members

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Immigrant supporters urge House Transportation Sub-Committee Members to support HB1316 that would provide temporary driver’s licenses to hard-working immigrants and help them support their families, increase effective law enforcement and improve driver safety on Virginia roads.

Dear Members of the House Transportation Sub-Committee,

Attention:  Delegates Hugo (Chairman), Yancey, Dudenhefer, Taylor, LaRock, McQuinn, Carr

The undersigned urge the members of the Virginia House Transportation Sub-Committee to support HB1316, a bill that would authorize the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue temporary visitor driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants who meet certain qualifications. If passed

Virginia would follow the lead of over 11 other states including Utah, New Mexico, California, and Maryland in passing legislation that requires all drivers to obtain a driver’s license regardless of their immigration status.

Virginia’s expanding access to driver’s licenses would lead to safer roads and reduce costs. Such reforms would insure that all drivers on the road take the same tests, meet minimum safety standards, and are properly insured, outcomes that would benefit all Virginians as states that have already expanded access to driver’s license to undocumented immigrants have seen a bigger drop in traffic related fatalities than the nation as a whole. Insurance rates would also likely drop as a result of safer roads and a decrease in the number of uninsured drivers. For example, New Mexico, which introduced a similar law in 2003 has seen its uninsured rate drop from 33% to 9% while their roads became safer with alcohol related crashes drop by 32%, alcohol related deaths drop by 35%, and all traffic fatalities drop by 23%.

In addition to improved safety, Virginia would also see beneficial economic impacts from expanded access to driver’s licenses. New drivers will buy more cars increasing taxes and fees for local jurisdictions. Newly licensed drivers will also help drive local economies through the purchase of gas and have greater access to local shopping districts.

Moreover, our communities and economy are stronger when more residents are able to participate in everyday life without breaking the rules of the road by driving without a license. Immigrants with driver’s licenses would also fear law enforcement less increasing cooperation between immigrant communities and law enforcement which would facilitate effective community policing efforts and help lower the crime rate. 

We urge you to support the economic development effects and safer roads for all Virginians by voting this bill out of the Transportation Committee so that it can be heard by the full Senate.

Respectfully,

To: House Transportation Sub-Committee Members
From: [Your Name]

Dear Members of the Virginia Senate Transportation Committee,

Attention: Senators Carrico (Chair), Newman, Deeds, Marsden, Favola, Alexander, Cosgrove, Edwards, Wexton, Garrett, DeSteph, Chase, Suetterlein

The undersigned urge all members of the Virginia Senate Transportation Committee to support SB 390 that would authorize the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue temporary visitor driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants who meet certain qualifications. If passed, this law would provide enormous relief for hard-working families who continue to be criminalized for ordinary conduct often vital to holding a job and caring for their loved ones like taking their children to school, attending church or visiting a sick relative at the hospital. Criminal charges for driving without a license play a prominent role in the process by which most undocumented immigrants in Virginia are brought to the attention of immigration authorities. It follows that expanding access to driver’s licenses would dramatically increase community stability and protect many families from being torn apart. It would also contribute to the reduction of fear of law enforcement thereby facilitating effective community policing efforts.

Expanding access to driver’s licenses would also lead to safer roads and reduce costs. Such reforms would insure that all drivers on the road take the same tests, meet minimum safety standards, and are properly insured, outcomes that would benefit all Virginians. Several jurisdictions including the District of Columbia and Maryland have already expanded access to driver’s license to undocumented immigrants and as a result have seen a bigger drop in traffic related fatalities than the nation as a whole. Insurance rates would also likely drop as a result of safer roads and a decrease in the number of uninsured drivers.
We urge you to support hardworking immigrant families and increase our road safety by voting this bill out of the Transportation Committee so that it can be heard by the full Senate.

Respectfully,