“Last year, California made history by adopting AB 60 – The Safe and Responsible Drivers Act – giving immigrants the opportunity to obtain a driver’s license,” states Alejo. “The DMV is currently in the process of implementing AB 60 and is nearly complete in drafting the regulations. I introduced AB 1660 this year in response to concerns from the immigrant and business communities asking for minor and technical fixes to last year’s monumental legislation.”
When AB 60 passed the legislature last year, it included language to comply with federal law under the Federal Real ID Act, which requires that a driver’s license issued to a non-citizen applicant have certain recognizable features. In order to prevent and penalize discrimination based on the recognizable feature, provisions were added to AB 60 to make clear that discrimination is a violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act and other provisions of state law. AB 1660 expands these antidiscrimination provisions but also adds certain protections to employers.
“It is important that we ensure that all of those who are affected by AB 60 are protected under the law,” states Alejo. “This bill will do just that.”
AB 1660 is supported by the California Immigrant Policy Center, the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Farm Bureau, and several other immigrant and business advocate organizations.
In addition to AB 1660, the Governor also signed AB 852 (Dickinson), a bill joint authored by Alejo, which prohibits third parties from charging driver's license applicants fees to fill out the application form. The bill will help prevent unscrupulous individuals from taking advantage of AB 60 applicants, helping to ensure a successful implementation.
“AB 60 will have a tremendous impact on California’s immigrant community,” states Alejo. “We must ensure our community isn’t misled by fraud during this process, and we must ensure that all individuals are protected under law. This bill is vitally important to protect those who are most vulnerable.”
For more information on this bill and Alejo’s other legislative efforts, please visit the following web address.
Luis Alejo represents the 30th District in the California State Assembly, which consists of the Salinas Valley, Monterey County, San Benito County, South Santa Clara County and the city of Watsonville in Santa Cruz County.