The Green Light law passed in June 2019 for undocumented immigrants in New York State to apply for driver’s license.

You don’t need a social security number to apply. If you don’t have one, the DMV will consider other forms of Identification presented. A passport or foreign drivers licence can be considered, but I beg, make sure they are issued in your real name!

Here are other facts to consider before you head out!

  1. This is not a shortcut, the established process of getting drivers license such as applying for drivers permit, taking road test, etc is still in effect for all applicants.
  2. The law that allows you to drive if you are undocumented immigrants only protects you in the State of New York. Know your map inside out – if you get lost and wind up in New Jersey or some other places, you are in the hands of the gods!
  3. The State of New York is still working on the nuances that are involved in making sure that this drivers license does not expose you to immigration officers.
  4. This law is still getting constantly challenged in court and although the State is wining, no one can tell the future.
  5. You can’t upgrade this license to obtain a class B or A. This simply means that you can’t legally drive a truck or other commercial vehicles.
  6. It’s also not valid to board airplanes, or to grant you access into any federal buildings.

Some critics maintain that the New York State government and the City of New York are pushing this law not necessarily because they care so much about the undocumented, but mostly for their economic gain.

Here are some opportunities this law creates:

  1. Undocumented immigrants in New York State can now get jobs that requires a drivers license
  2. Having a job to care for themselves and families mean less burden on public welfare
  3. Tax base in New York State just gets widened – low income earners pay more tax
  4. It boosts economy- more spending, more jobs, etc

Here are some words on the street about this law:

The State of New York will experience more influx of immigrants from around the nation and also from around the world. The existing un-affordable housing system especially in Big Apple just becomes…. well, you know it.


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