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State of Rhode Island General Assembly
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Sen. Ciccone and Rep. Williams hold press conference on bill allowing DMV driving privileges to undocumented residents
STATE HOUSE – Sen. Frank A. Ciccone III and Rep. Anastasia P. Williams held a press conference in the Senate Lounge of the State House concerning legislation (
) they have reintroduced that would allow the Department of Motor Vehicles (RIDMV) to issue driving privilege licenses and permits to applicants unable to establish lawful presence in the United States. The licenses and permit would not be valid for identification purposes.
“We need to ensure that all drivers, regardless of their immigration status, are trained, tested and insured when driving on our roads,” said Senator Ciccone (D-Dist. 7, Providence, North Providence). “This is a safety issue as well as an economic issue. If the worst was to happen and an accident occurs involving an undocumented person driving, our residents and businesses are protected far better if this legislation is enacted as opposed to the current status quo.”
“The purpose of this legislation is to ensure that all drivers on the road are trained and knowledgeable about our traffic safety laws and safe motor vehicle operation. Road safety benefits us all. The only true danger to legal residents regarding this legislation is if this bill is not passed and unfit drivers are on the road. It would seem to be a common sense approach that other states have already enacted,” said Representative Williams (D-Dist. 9, Providence).
Also in attendance at the press conference were Sen. Ana B. Quezada (D-Dist. 2, Providence), Rep. Marcia Ranglin-Vassell (D-Dist. 5, Providence), Rep. Aaron Regunberg (D_Dist. 4, Providence), and Rep. Ramon A. Perez (D-Dist. 13, Providence, Johnston).
Currently, those unable to establish a lawful presence in the U.S. are unable to produce the documentation, such as a Social Security number, that state law requires for the issuing of a driver’s license. The new legislation would still require certain documentation, such as a foreign birth certificate, or other legal documents in order to issue the driving privilege license or permit. Also, neither the permit nor license would be usable for federal or state identification purposes.
The cosponsors of the legislation are Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket, North Providence), Sen. Ana B. Quezada (D-Dist. 2, Providence), Sen. Elizabeth A. Crowley (D-Dist. 16, Central Falls, Pawtucket), and Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence), Rep. Scott A. Slater (D-Dist. 10, Providence), Rep. Shelby Maldonado (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls), Representative Perez, and Representative Regunberg.
For more information, contact:
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
Lt. Governor's Office
Secretary of State
Link to Public Records Request