IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

6,000 Immigrants Seek Driver's Licenses in California on First Day

The California DMV said that 6,189 applied by noon Friday in the first day that a law allowing undocumented immigrants to get licenses took effect.
Get more newsLiveon

More than 6,000 people applied for driver's licenses in California Friday, as the state became one of 10 allowing undocumented immigrants to legally drive.

"It's a blessing,” said Roselio Nicholes, who applied for a license at a Department of Motor Vehicles office in San Jose. She told NBC Bay Area that she is looking forward to being able to drive without fear of being pulled over.

California's Assembly Bill 60, passed last year and which went into effect Jan. 1, allows undocumented immigrants to obtain licenses. Friday was the first day the DMV began accepting applications, and it expects 1.4 million to apply for licenses in the first three years. By noon, the DMV said approximately 6,189 people had applied for a license under the new law.

At the San Jose DMV office, 30 people had lines up by 5 a.m. By 7:30 a.m., a half-hour before doors opened, more than 100 were waiting in a line that snaked around a corner of the building. Applicants must prove their identity and that they live in California, and they must pass a written test to be granted a license.

Gilberto Flores hopes he is ready. "I have been studying. If God allows, it will be doable," he told NBC Bay Area.



— Phil Helsel