DMVs make ready for Green Light Law surge of immigrants seeking NY licenses

Posted: Updated:

On Monday, immigrants living illegally in New York state will be allowed to apply for driver’s licenses – but some DMV offices haven't received everything they need to implement the new state law.

Orange County Clerk Annie Rabbit, who runs the county’s four DMVs, says some required equipment has not yet arrived.

"We are waiting for the verification machine, which is not here as of today," she told News 12.

The county has only received one of the machines, which verifies foreign documents. That means the DMV in Goshen will be the only office accepting applications.

Immigrants in the country illegally who apply will need to prove their name, date of birth and New York address, as part of the state’s Green Light Law.

The DMV will also accept foreign passports, foreign marriage and divorce records and foreign birth certificates.

Rabbit called the rollout “a patchwork plan” with zero funding – meaning the county is footing the bill to train current employees and hire extra staff. As a former assemblywoman, she says she wouldn't have voted in favor of the bill.

“Albany is very good on issuing legislation with no money attached to it, so there is burden here,” she says.

Immigration advocates say more licensed drivers on the roads will make them safer and help prevent immigrants from being pipelined into deportation proceedings when pulled over by police.

The state says data collected by the DMV will not be shared with immigration officials without a court order. They also say they have provided counties with training – including webinars for staff and free equipment. They say counties will receive additional funding from the law because part of the fees for an application will be kept.

Long lines are expected on Monday when the law goes into effect.

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