Undocumented immigrants line up early for CA driver’s licenses

GRANADA HILLS, Calif. – Since last Friday this has been the scene at the newly opened DMV processing plant in Granada Hills, Calif. since undocumented immigrants in the state were allowed to get their drivers licenses.

This line began forming at 1:30 a.m. with applicants bundled up, camped out in chairs going over study guides.

This undocumented caregiver who does not want to be identified lined up about an hour before the doors opened at 8 a.m. excited to apply for the AB60 drivers license.

This recently enacted law allows undocumented Californians to drive legally.

The DMV says in the first three days over 46,000 have already applied.

“Of course it’s a big deal because you could drive,” said the Filipino caregiver. “It’s good to have a driver’s license because it eases your mind about being pulled over.”

The Granada Hills location is one of four processing centers including San Jose, Stanton, and Lompoc that take walk in driver license renewals and applications.

The processing centers take both documented and undocumented drivers but most of those in line, especially the early birds, planned to take the written exam for the AB60 driver’s license.

In some DMV locations, documented or not, it can take several weeks to book an appointment.

This Filipino caregiver says he scheduled an appointment last month but the soonest date he was given wasn’t until mid February.

“This is where we got referred to because they process driver’s licenses,” said the Filipino caregiver. “In Santa Monica we had to do an extra transaction.”

Immigrant rights advocates say there might be one way to get around the appointment wait time and avoid having to walk in.

“If you go on the DMV website especially the night before especially around midnight you can try to submit a request for an appointment and there may be a last minute cancellation so you may be able to get a next day appointment,” said Betty Hung of the Asian American Advancing Justice – Los Angeles.

Despite the long lines, once applicants were inside the process which includes paper work, vision and written tests, and thumb printing and picture taking takes less than an hour and those who passed were all smiles especially as they took their license pictures.

They now have to book an appointment to take the behind the wheel test.

With over a million drivers expected to apply for AB60 the DMV has beefed up its workforce by an additional 900 employees and aside from the four processing centers they have extended hours at some locations.

You can contact Steve Angeles at steve_angeles@abs-cbn.com and follow him on Twitter @stevieangeles for more information.

3 Comments on this post.

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  • noz
    7 January 2015 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    mexifornia is overrun by far out lefties. their passed laws allowing illegal aliens to procure driver licenses, its long term effect, be it good or bad remain to be seen. tracking down illegal aliens whereabouts for questionings maybe helpful in solving crimes.

  • Mario
    7 January 2015 at 11:46 pm - Reply

    Pinoys who scheduled an appointment last December, will report back on mid February. Enough time for the Immigration officer to verify the criminal records of the DMV applicant. At the US immigration office, they can access NBI computer in PH for immediate background check.DMV applicant with criminal records will be deported immediately.

  • Delia
    8 January 2015 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    Now is the perfect time for the ICE and/or Border Patrol to arrest and deport the millions of wetbacks to wherever they came from.