Subject: Message on bill sb_371 : billroot:[]safloor.txt Date: Thu, 13 May 1999 10:13:33 -0700 (PDT) From: Senate-News-Reply@SEN.CA.GOV To: Recipients of bill sb_371 messages BILL ANALYSIS ------------------------------------------------------------ |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE | SB 371| |Office of Senate Floor Analyses | | |1020 N Street, Suite 524 | | |(916) 445-6614 Fax: (916) | | |327-4478 | | ------------------------------------------------------------ {u u} THIRD READING Bill No: SB 371 Author: Solis (D) Amended: 4/20/99 Vote: 21 {u SENATE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE u}: 11-1, 4/6/99 AYES: Karnette, Dunn, Costa, Figueroa, Hayden, Kelley, Monteith, Murray, Polanco, Rainey, Speier NOES: Morrow {u SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE u} : Senate Rule 28.8 {u SUBJECT u} : Issuance of driver's licenses and identification cards {u SOURCE u} : Author {u DIGEST u} : This bill would delete the requirement that every applicant for an original driver's license or identification card submit proof of legal residence to instead require verification only if supporting documents appear fraudulent. {u ANALYSIS u} : Existing law requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to require every applicant for an original driver's license or identification card to submit satisfactory proof that the applicant's presence in the United States is authorized under federal law. {u u} This bill deletes the provision requiring the verification that the applicant's presence in the United States is CONTINUED {u SB 371 u} Page 2 authorized under federal law and instead provides that if the applicant has complied with the existing provisions of law, relative to the requirement to submit proof of authorization under federal law, the DMV would be required to issue a driver's license or identification card and be charged with verifying the authenticity of the supporting documents only if those documents appear to be fraudulent. The department would also be required to establish procedures to, among other things, hearings for appeals from denials of licenses or identification cards. Existing law requires the department to 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. {u u} This bill would repeal these provisions. {u Background u} The provision requiring applicants for driver's licenses to produce documentation of citizenship or legal residence was enacted in 1993 by Senate Bill 976 (Chapter 820, Statues of 1993, Alquist), 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 which 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, the department 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. The department has approved a variety of birth verification/legal presence documents that applicants can {u SB 371 u} Page 3 submit for this purpose. When an applicant submits a specified document, it is reviewed for acceptability and authenticity by a department field office technician. For verification of Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) documents submitted by immigrant applicants, the department 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 monthly. When a SAVE inquiry is initiated and the submitted documentation does not match a record in the system, the department initiates a secondary verification by submitting the photocopied documents to INS for verification. The department reports 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 the department is required to issue a temporary driver's license, 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 license is issued for the period of time the applicant is authorized to remain in this country. 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 trading center. {u FISCAL EFFECT u} : Appropriation: No Fiscal Com.: Yes {u SB 371 u} Page 4 Local: No {u SUPPORT u} : (Verified 5/7/99) California Chamber of Commerce California Manufacturers Association California Teamsters Public Affairs Council Japanese Chamber of Commerce {u ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT u} : The author contends that the current law "is an excessive inconvenience that affects the efficiency of foreign national business executives who are legally residing in California. The state law conflicts with existing federal forms and timeline for verifying valid residence and results in the necessity to reapply for a driver's license as often as twice a year." In addition, the author argues that the current law is unnecessary because other state and federal programs are in effect that adequately detect 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. RJG:sl 5/10/99 Senate Floor Analyses SUPPORT/OPPOSITION: SEE ABOVE **** END ****
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