The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a bill two months ago that would allow roughly 160,000 immigrants of driving age in our state to apply for a driver’s license if they can prove their identity with documents such as a birth certificate or a passport.
In our view, providing individuals who live, work, drive, and pay taxes in Massachusetts with the opportunity to obtain a license is simply common sense, which is why 16 other states have enacted similar legislation.
The Mass. Chiefs of Police Assoc. and the Mass. District Attorneys Assoc. are among the groups who have endorsed the measure because they recognize that the present law, which only imposes fines upon unlicensed operators, accomplishes nothing, but takes up valuable court time and resources from our police and criminal justice system.
Moreover, by allowing these individuals to obtain a license, it brings them out of the shadows, which also has the additional benefit of enhancing public safety and law enforcement for more serious matters.
We urge our state senators to do what they can to bring pressure upon the Senate leadership to move this bill forward ASAP.