- January 31, 2017
- Fiscal Policy Institute
- David Dyssegaard Kallick, and Cyierra Roldan
Policies affecting access to driver’s licenses have changed in numerous ways over the years in
New York State, and around the country. Today, 12 states, plus the District of Columbia and
Puerto Rico, make it possible for immigrants to get driver’s licenses without regard to their
Until 2003, New York State allowed residents to apply for driver’s licenses without regard to
their immigration status. Proposals are now pending in the New York State legislature that would
allow all state residents to apply for a driver’s license, irrespective of their immigration status.
Currently, 37 percent of unauthorized immigrants live in a place where they can get a driver’s
license; if a bill passed in New York, that share would increase to 44 percent.