Governor Approves Driver License for Undocumented Workers


Today, Oct. 3, 2013, Governor Brown of California signed into law a bill that grants Drivers Licenses to Undocumented workers in Calfornia as long as they apply and pass the driver’s test we all have to pass.  The thinking is that this will make our roads safer because they will be able to purchase car insurance now and will better understand our driving laws.  We are not so sure that is going to be the results, but there is another issue that is very important to all employers. 

If an employee gets this type of driver’s license, it will be marked with the initials DP (driver’s privilege) rather than DL (driver’s license) followed by the numbers.  As of right now, this new document is not allowed for federal forms and a worker, who is not a US citizen, will still need to provide a copy  of their Permanent Resident card to be eligible to work and for the I-9 form. 


3 replies
    • Jeff Schanbacher
      Jeff Schanbacher says:

      This law does not go into effect until January of 2015. There is no indication, at this time, that this law applies to all levels of licenses (Type A,B or C) but it also is not clear that it excludes any of those. In other words, as of now, we cannot answer your question. The thrust is providing licensing to about 1 million drivers who do not now have a license at all.

      In theory, there would be no reason to get a commercial license as it is still (in theory) illegal to hire an undocumented worker to drive for you as a job. The license cannot be used for identification purposes on federal forms such as the I-9 form.

      We will continue to monitor but at this time, it seems to be focused on personal vehicle driving only.

    • Jeff
      Jeff says:

      Yes, in fact now we have heard from the Federal Government and they will allow these special driver’s licenses to be used on I-9 documents for Identification. Originally, State officials guaranteed skeptical employers that the form would not be usable on the I-9. Federal officials still say the employee must have a Social Security card or other document that allows them to work in the US for the I-9 to be completed.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *