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BILL ANALYSIS - SB-371
Date of Hearing: June 21, 1999
ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION
Tom Torlakson, Chair
SB 371 (Solis) (Pictured above) - As Amended: April 20, 1999
SENATE VOTE : 23-11
SUBJECT : Issuance of driver's licenses and identification
SUMMARY : Requires that every applicant for an original
driver's license or identification card submit proof of legal
presence in the United States the first time the applicant
applies for a driver's license or identification card. Once
proof of legal presence is submitted, further verification is
only required if supporting documents appear fraudulent.
Specifically, this bill:
1)Deletes the requirement in existing law that the Department of
Motor Vehicles (DMV) verify the applicant's presence in the
United States is authorized under federal law. Immigration
and Naturalization Services (INS) implements this federal law.
2)Repeals the requirement that the Department of Motor Vehicles
(DMV) issue a 90-day temporary driver's license to a legal,
nonimmigrant driver's license applicant who has successfully
completed an application and the related requirements for the
issuance of a driver's license.
EXISTING LAW :
1)Requires DMV to require every applicant for an original and
subsequent renewal of a driver's license or identification
card to submit satisfactory proof that the applicant's
presence in the United States is authorized under federal law.
2)Requires that DMV issue a 90-day temporary driver's license to
a legal, nonimmigrant driver's license applicant who has
successfully completed an application and the related
requirements for the issuance of a driver's license.
3)Requires DMV to establish procedures to set hearings for
appeals arising from denials of driver's licenses or
FISCAL EFFECT : Unknown
COMMENTS : This bill provides that if the applicant has complied
with existing provisions of law relative to the requirement to
submit proof of authorization under federal law, DMV shall issue
a driver's license or identification card. DMV shall verify the
authenticity of supporting documents, only if those documents
appear to be fraudulent. The bill vests DMV with the
verification authority rather than INS.
The provision in existing law requiring applicants for driver's
licenses to produce documentation of citizenship or legal
residence was enacted in 1993 by Senate Bill 976 (Alquist),
Chapter 820, and it was designed to make the driver's license a
more secure form of identification with the intent of preventing
undocumented immigrants from being licensed or obtaining
identification cards. The sponsors asserted that the driver's
license was a "breeder" document that is used to acquire other
documentation and qualifying status for a variety of public
services and programs. They further contended that it would
improve the uninsured motorist problem, reduce fraudulent
applications for government programs, discourage undocumented
immigrants from operating a motor vehicle, and generally act as
a deterrent to illegal immigration.
Since March 1994, DMV has required applicants for an original
driver's license to submit documentation that satisfactorily
substantiates that the applicant's presence in the United States
is authorized under federal law. DMV has approved a variety of
birth verification/legal presence documents that applicants can
submit for this purpose. When an applicant submits a specified
document, it is reviewed for acceptability and authenticity by a
DMV field office technician. For verification of INS documents
submitted by immigrant applicants, DMV has direct access to the
Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program,
an electronic intergovernmental information-sharing system
provided by the INS to ensure that only legally-entitled aliens
receive government benefits. The SAVE system is updated
When a SAVE inquiry is initiated and the submitted documentation
does not match a record in the system, DMV initiates a secondary
verification by submitting the photocopied documents to INS for
verification. DMV reports that approximately 180,000 documents
annually are submitted for secondary verification. In light of
the large number of documents requiring additional verification,
a significant number of applicants have experienced processing
delays. The applicants requiring further verification are
issued temporary licenses, and the issuance of the actual
license is provided when the INS verification is completed.
For a legal, nonimmigrant applicant, DMV is required to issue a
temporary driver's license, which is valid for 90 days and which
can be extended for an additional 120 days if the applicant has
completed the license application, but INS verification has not
been completed. Once an INS match is completed, a driver's
license is issued for the period of time the applicant is
authorized to remain in the U. S.
As Chairperson of the Subcommittee on Asia Trade and Commerce,
the author has pointed out the concerns regarding applying for a
driver's license raised by a number of Japanese nationals who
have been temporarily assigned to work in one of the many
subsidiaries of Japanese companies located in California. She
contends that a large number of these applicants have had their
temporary licenses expire prior to certification, greatly
inconveniencing them and their firms. She asserts this reflects
negatively on a state that aggressively strives to be a global
Also, the author contends that "secondary verification" is
overkill and is an excessive inconvenience that affects the
efficiency of foreign national business executives who are
legally residing in California. By requiring first time proof
of legal presence (but not "secondary verification"), the author
believes the bill represents a fair and reasonable balance of
interests. The state law conflicts with existing federal forms
and timelines for verifying valid residence, and results in the
necessity to reapply for a driver's license as often as twice a
In addition, the author argues that current law is unnecessary
because other state and federal programs are in effect that
adequately detects undocumented immigrants. According to the
author, there are some 95 state regulations, involving nearly 40
state agencies, that require the verification of immigrant
status in some form or another.
Similar Legislation: This committee passed AB 1463 (Cedillo) on
April 19, 1999. This bill repeals the requirement that DMV
require every applicant for an original driver's license to
submit lawful presence in the United States. SB 371 (Solis)
requires proof of lawful presence for the first application
only. AB 1463 and SB 371 both repeal the provision that DMV
issue a 90-day temporary driver's.
Unlike SB 371, AB 1463 repeals the requirement that DMV obtain
the Social Security Numbers from each person applying for a
driver's license or driver's license renewal. SB 371 does not
repeal this requirement.
REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION :
California Bankers Association
California Chamber of Commerce
California Manufacturers Association
California Teamsters Public Affairs Council
Japanese Chamber of Commerce
Japan Business Association (represents many of the groups
Alzawa Furuta Advertising
Alps Electric (USA), Inc.
APIC Yamada Corporation
The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubisi Ltd.
Chiyoda Fire & Marine Insurance Co., Ltd.
Deido P.J., Inc.
Deloitte & Touche LLP
Disco Hi-Tec America, Inc.
Ebara America Corporation
EEJA America, Inc.
Fujifilm Software (California), Inc.
Fujitsu America, Inc.
Furukawa Electric North America, Inc.
Furukawa Electric Technologies, Inc.
FX Global, Inc.
Gekkeikan Sake (USA), Inc.
Hitachi America, Ltd.
Hitachi Semiconductor (America), Inc.
Hotel Nikko of San Francisco, Inc.
Inabata America Corporation
The Industrial Bank of Japan, Ltd.
Ip Devices, Inc.
ITOCHU International, Inc.
Itochu Technology, Inc.
Itoham U.S.A., Inc.
James J. Boyle & Co.
Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.
Japan National Tourist Organization
Japan Travel Bureau International, Inc.
Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California
JCB International Credit Card Co., Ltd.
JETRO San Francisco
JPSS Co., Inc.
Kaijo America, Inc.
The Lone Cypress Company
Marobani America Corporation
Marobani International Electronics Corporation
Marubun USA Corporation
Matsubo Co. (America), Inc.
Meijiseimel Insurance Services of California, Inc.
Meiko America, Inc
Miki (USA), Inc.
Mitsubishi International Corporation
Mitsui & Co.(USA), Inc.
Mitsui Corntek Corp.
Moriwaki Imai & Fujita, Inc.
Nagase California Corporation
Namco Homeleck, Inc.
NDK America, Inc.
NEC Electronics, Inc.
NHK International Corporation
Nippon Cargo Airlines Co., Ltd.
Nippon CMK Corporation
Nippon Express Travel USA, Inc.
Nippon Express USA, Inc.
Nissel Sangyo America, Ltd.
Nitto Denko America, Inc.
NTT Software Corporation
OCS America, Inc.
Omron Management Center of America, Inc.
Pacific Leisure Management
Panasonic Technologies, Inc.
Renown Enterprises, Inc.
Sakata Seed America, Inc.
San Francisco 109, Inc.
Sankei Travel of America
Sega of America, Inc.
Seiko Precision, Inc.
Shin-Eisu Magnetics, Inc.
Snow Brand America, Inc.
Sony Electronics, Inc.
South San Francisco Printing Co.
The Sumitomo Bank, Limited
Sumitomo Marine & Fire Insurance Company, Ltd.
Takara Sake USA, Inc.
Takenaka (USA) Corporation
Teraoka & Associates
TOA Electronics, Inc.
The Tokai Bank, Ltd.
Tokio Marine Management, Inc.
Tokyo Express International
Tomen America, Inc.
Toshiba America, Inc.
Toyota Motor Personnel Services, USA, Inc.
Toyota Tsusho America, Inc.
Union Bank of California, N.A.
Watahan Nohara International, Inc.
Zen Trading Co., Ltd.
Zenrin Co., Ltd.
All Nippon Airways
Asahi & Company
Calsonic North America, Inc.
Canon Business Machines, Inc.
Fujita Corporation USA
Itachu International Inc.
Japan Business Association of Southern California
Kanematsu USA Inc.
Kinetsu Enterprises Co. of America
Marubeni America Corporation
Mitsubishi Electronics America
Mitsubishi International Corporation
The Mitsubishi Trust and Banking Corporation
Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.
Nichimen America Inc.
Nissho Iwai American Corporation
Noritsu America Corporation
Pentel of America, Ltd.
Ricoh Electronics, Inc.
S & B International Corporation
The Sakura Bank, Ltd.
Sanwa Bank California
The Sanwa Bank, Ltd.
Sumitomo Corporation of America
The Sumitomo Trust & Banking Co., Ltd.
Takenaka Executive Search LLC
Tokio Marine Management, Inc.
The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Ltd.
Toyota Tsusho America, Inc.
Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.
Alliance of California Taxpayers
Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business
Analysis Prepared by : Gayle Miller / TRANS. / (916)319-2093