Saint Paul, Minn. – Yesterday the Minnesota Senate Finance Committee passed SF 166, which will allow the Department of Public Safety to issue a driver’s license that is compliant with federal REAL ID requirements. The bill is expected to be heard on the floor of the Senate next week.
The House and the Senate bills contain different requirement verification provisions, but in essence both bills will deny undocumented people the opportunity to ever acquire a driver’s licenses in the State of Minnesota.
The House REAL ID bill explicitly requires verification of citizenship for issuing all driver’s licenses and permits. The Senate bill restricts the commissioner of public safety from adopting rules to issue licenses and permits for individuals who lack proper documentation. Both will close the door on driver’s licenses for all in the State of Minnesota.
After the passage of the bill from the Senate Finance Committee to the floor, State Senator Patricia Torres Ray (DFL-Minneapolis) released the following statement:
“The Republican majority has decided to politicize an important bill that Minnesota must pass to become compliant with federal REAL ID. Governor Mark Dayton asked for a clean bill but the legislature has chosen not to cooperate. We have bipartisan support to move a clean REAL ID bill. Minnesota could lead the nation by moving forward a bill that allows people to obtain a driver’s license that is compliant with federal ID requirements, and a State ID driving permit that allows people without proper documentation to drive safely in the streets. Hardworking immigrants, who are a valuable asset to Minnesota, should be allowed to drive legally, buy insurance, and make our roads safer.”
“If you believe that Minnesota residents, who meet driving safety requirements, but cannot provide proof of legal residency, should be allowed to get a Minnesota driving permit that allows them to drive safely in the streets, you should contact your legislator and Governor Dayton to ask for a Clean REAL ID bill.” Sen. Torres Ray said.
Senator Patricia Torres Ray can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-296-4274.