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Drivers Licenses for Non-Citizens



Current Situation

Driving is a basic necessity. Parts of Kansas have no public transportation which makes it a barrier for immigrants to attend church and get to work. For drivers without a license, many may not have standard road training and understanding of public safety standards. Additionally, Kansas  is losing out on revenue and economic opportunities from buyers for insurance, cars, and mobility to get to retail centers. Currently, 16 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico allow immigrants to lawfully drive regardless of status.


Why does this matter? 

Driving is a basic necessity. 

·         Unauthorized immigrants are already a part of Kansas economy and communities. Access to licenses would help mobility to easily get to work, shop, and drive their children.

·         Areas of Kansas have no public transportation and driving is the most efficient way for people to move around.


Public Safety

·         Every driver who earns a driver’s license will have to comply with Kansas’ driving standards which include successfully passing the necessary road tests and recognizing all highway and safety signs.

·         Licensed drivers appear to be less likely to leave the scene of an accident so expanding access to driver’s licenses may reduce the rate of hit-and-run accidents.


Economic Benefits

·         Allowing driver’s licenses regardless of immigration status may reduce insurance premiums for all drivers, as research suggests that premiums are modestly higher in states that restrict access to licenses.

·         States may also have a modest revenue increase from growth in sales taxes, licensing fees, and vehicle registration fees as newly licensed drivers purchase, register, and maintain cars. 

·         Allowing the undocumented community to obtain driver’s licenses would allow immigrant workers to contribute as much as possible to state economies and tax systems. 


What about Real ID? 

·         Most other states that have expanded driver license access have complied with these requirements by including people regardless of immigration status in their system of “standard” (non-REAL ID) driver’s licenses. 

·         For those who cannot or choose not to pay an additional fee and comply with the federal requirements to obtain a REAL ID-compliant license.

Expended Access, Decreased Fatalities

Below is an example of how expanding driver’s license is contributing to the economy in other states

Good for the Economy

Other helpful information