Rhode Island Considers Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Immigrants

May 10, 2013

Lawmakers in Rhode Island are considering a proposal to allow immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses regardless of their legal status.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the legislation this week.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Frank Ciccone, a Providence Democrat.

Ciccone’s proposal would direct the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles to provide special licenses to immigrants at a cost of $100. The applicant would have to submit proof of residency and insurance to acquire a license, which would expire in two years.

Applicants would also have to submit their fingerprints and consent to a criminal background check.

Supporters say immigrants in the country illegally are already driving and should be subject to the same licensing rules as other drivers. Opponents, however, argue that the licenses would reward illegal behavior.

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