(April 18) – A bipartisan bill to improve access to a program to reduce the number of unlicensed, uninsured drivers on Colorado roads passed the House today.

SB18-108, sponsored in the House by Reps. Jeni Arndt, D-Fort Collins, and Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, removes obstacles that have restricted access to a program launched in 2013 to provide driver’s licenses to all Colorado residents, regardless of immigration status. The self-funded program gives all drivers the opportunity to prove that they are qualified to get behind the wheel and allows them to obtain insurance.

The bill allows individuals who have valid Social Security numbers to use them as proof of identity for the immigrant driver’s license program. Currently, an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) is the sole qualifying eligibility document for participation in the program. The bill also permits online renewals of licenses granted under the program, removing another bottleneck in a program for which waiting times can still be as long as six months.

“The ag industry has told us it needs workers who can get to their jobs safely and legally,” said Rep. Arndt, the chairwoman of the House Agriculture, Livestock & Natural Resources Committee. “This bill is good for Coloradans, it’s good for our economy and it’s good for public safety.”

“This bill will make Colorado’s roads safer without any additional funding burden,” Rep. Singer said. “And it will help folks like the DACA students, who face so much uncertainty.”

SB18-108 passed on a 38-24 vote. The bill goes back to the Senate for consideration of House amendments.

 

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