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Gov. Brown Signs Bill Allowing Undocumented Immigrants To Get Driver's Licenses

Gov. Jerry Brown signs AB 60, as L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and others look on (Photo courtesy the office of Eric Garcetti)
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Governor Jerry Brown was at Los Angeles City Hall this morning to sign into law a bill that will give undocumented immigrants the right to seek and obtain California driver's licenses.

This morning's signing ceremony was hosted by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, and was attended by Los Angeles Police Chief Beck, other instrumental political figures in the creation and passing of the bill, and immigrants' rights advocates.

The bill, AB 60, grants undocumented immigrants access to apply for driver's licenses, however those licenses will be different than the regular ones: They'll be marked "DP" (driver's privilege) instead of "DL" (driver's license). The licenses will also come with the message that they "do not establish eligibility for employment or public benefit."

The bill provides for a January 2015 start date, however Brown may opt to move that date up, according to City News Service.

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Legislation opening up the opportunity for undocumented immigrants to get driver's licenses has been on—and off—the table in California for the last decade. Even AB 60 began as one draft by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, but was taken over by state Sen. Kevin de Leon of Los Angeles.

As touched on during remarks this morning at the signing ceremony, supporters of AB 60 have expressed the position that more licensed drivers on the roads means increased safetyfor all motorists and pedestrians.

"When people ask, what does history feel like? It feels like this," said Garcetti during the event.

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