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DMV offers investigation option to prove identity of those applying for undocumented licenses

Dylan Foster

The California Department of Motor Vehicles began accepting applications for undocumented driver licenses Friday.

Field offices on the Central Coast were busy with many people waiting outside the San Luis Obispo office.

Jessica Gonzalez is a spokesperson for the DMV and she says that the 170 field offices and the four driver licenses processing centers in California will experience a large influx of people in the coming weeks. 

By noon Friday, the California DMV saw more than six thousand applicants and had nearly 95 hundred appointments booked across the state.

Gonzalez says those applying under the new AB 60 law are required to show identity and residency documents, take a picture, as well as take the vision and driver's knowledge exam.

To prove identity, a person must show something electronically verifiable with DMV records and computers. Gonzales says only a few documents work, like a Mexican Consular card, or both a visa and birth certificate.

But, some applying for AB 60 licenses don't have acceptable forms of identification, so California has another option.

"We learned from other states that if you didn't have those documents, you couldn't get a driver's license and so the whole point of the law is to have California roads safer by people knowing the rules of the road and people being tested on them," said Gonzalez.

"So we decided, 'Okay, if you don't have any of these documents we're requiring, you can come in with whatever you do have and our investigative staff can determine if you are who you say you are.'" 

California is the first state to offer this sort of option. 

Some people may leave the DMV with their permits. If someone has had a valid driver's license before, they can have their driving test waived, leave with a temporary license and receive their official one in the mail in six to eight weeks.

An expected 1.4 million people will apply for AB 60 licenses over the next three years.