Some California lawmakers and advocacy groups are pushing for the senate to pass AB 1766, known as the “CA ID for All,” which would allow for undocumented persons to get California identification cards.
The cards are intended for people who are non-drivers, and therefore don’t have a restricted driver’s license to use as a form of ID.
Advocacy groups have said it’s “nonsensical” that non-driving undocumented people have no recourse in obtaining identification for tasks like opening a bank account and registering a child for school.
Those who don’t drive or have access to a car — typically the disabled or older immigrants — have no form of California ID, they argue.
Here’s a dive into what the bill is, and what it would change.
What is AB 1766, CA ID for All?
AB 1766 is a bill that would allow undocumented persons to obtain a restricted California ID. The bill, if passed, would allow California residents regardless of legal status to obtain the ID.
Those with disabilities like epilepsy or degenerative eye conditions due to age and cannot obtain a license because of these conditions would also benefit.
“This bill brings equity to those who have been unable to access basic life essentials because they have no legally recognized identification,” said Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-South Los Angeles) in a news release. “What many of us take for granted – having an ID – will have life-changing ramifications for many in the immigrant and disabled communities.”
Several LA area assemblymembers, including Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-South Los Angeles) and Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson), authored AB 1766.
If passed, the CA ID for All law would make California the first state in the nation to allow non-resident undocumented people to obtain standardized ID cards. California was also the first in the nation to allow undocumented people to obtain driver’s licenses in 2013. Read more on that bill, AB 60, below.
The bill says that the documents needed to submit in order to get this new California ID would not be made public record, unless it was part of a warrant or subpoena.
What is AB 60?
AB 60 was passed in 2013. This law enables those who are not U.S. citizens, but meet the law’s requirements, to obtain a driver’s license in California.
It’s only a state ID, and cannot be used as a federal ID. The law also stipulated that people could not use the driver’s license to work, vote, or receive any benefits that they weren’t already eligible for before. It’s also not advised to use it to board an airplane.
On the California DMV site, there’s a checklist to determine if you meet the requirements. You can find that here.
With AB 60, non-residents can obtain a form of ID. With AB 1766, this bill covers others who would not get an AB 60 license because they don’t plan to use it to drive a car.
What will people be able to do once they obtain an AB 1766 ID?
People will be able to use this California ID card to apply for bank accounts, housing, health services, and employment.
When would AB 1766 take effect, if passed?
The bill says the law would take effect January 1, 2024 if passed in the senate. It has already passed in the assembly.
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