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More Than 5,000 Undocumented Residents Sign Up For Drivers License Test

by | Dec 2, 2014 3:27pm
() Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Immigration

Nearly 5,400 undocumented Connecticut residents made appointments to take a written driving test from the Department of Motor Vehicles Monday as the state began the first phase of its “Drive Only” license program.

The law, which was approved by the legislature last year and signed by the governor, allows undocumented immigrants to acquire drivers licenses. The goal is to get more of the state’s motorists registered and insured.

“It’s going to bring more vehicles into compliance that are being driven out there,” DMV spokesman Bill Seymour said Tuesday. “It has an effect on folks who have an accident or a crash and find that the vehicle involved wasn’t insured. It helps keeps everybody safe on the roads.”

Monday marked the beginning of the first stage of the program, when people were permitted to make an appointment online to take a written test when the DMV begins administering them next month.

Judging by the first day, interest in the program is enormous. Seymour said 5,387 people made appointments online and about 33,000 people visited the department’s webpage on the program.

“That’s huge. We never get anything near that on any given day for anything,” he said of the department’s website page views. “That tells us there’s a lot of people looking at this information.”

Seymour said it is difficult for the DMV to predict how many people are eligible to apply for the drive only licenses. The Pew Research Center estimated there were about 130,000 undocumented immigrants living in Connecticut as of 2012.

Despite the high demand for the new program, the DMV does not expect a spike in wait times for its normal customers. The agency has hired new staff members and capped the number of driving tests it will administer for the new licenses at 700 per week.

It has also been periodically closing DMV branches this week on a staggered basis to conduct employee training on the program. The agency’s Hamden office was closed Tuesday between 7:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. and a Waterbury branch will be closed during the same hours Wednesday. Offices in Willimantic and Norwalk will be closed later this week.

Lawmakers plan to hold an informational hearing on the program next Monday. In a press release, incoming House Minority Leader Themis Klarides questioned how the program will affect “the way the DMV does business and interacts with the public.” In a letter to DMV Commissioner Melody Currey, Klarides said it was important the public be aware of next week’s hearing.

“Regardless of whether people support the immigrant drivers’ licenses program, it is one of the most significant public safety initiatives ever adopted in this state. I believe it is important that a genuine effort be made to inform the public about the new law,” Klarides wrote.

Connecticut is not alone in adopting programs to permit undocumented residents to obtain drivers licenses. This year, Connecticut and California will join eight other states that have enacted similar policies, according to the National Immigration Law Center. The nearest state with an undocumented immigrant drivers license program is Vermont.

Seymour said Connecticut has tried to learn from the experiences of other states by reinforcing its computer system to handle the additional demand. He said the DMV is also seeking to avoid the high test failure rates experienced elsewhere.

“It’s paramount — it’s critical that those seeking a permit read that drivers manual,” he said.

Because of the agency’s cap on weekly tests, an applicant who fails the test may have to wait months before they get another appointment. Seymour encouraged people who are applying to take the test to read the ’ manual, which is also available in Spanish. He said they could also visit the department’s website at ct.gov/driveonly and download a practice test app.

Adults who pass the written test will receive a learners permit by mail, which they will have to hold for at least three months before taking a driving test. During that time, they will be required to take eight hours of driving classes. Prospective teen drivers face more stringent requirements.

Click here for a list of documents needed to sign up for the test.

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(23) Archived Comments

posted by: DanofiveO | December 2, 2014  4:06pm

This policy is an extension of the policies that are ruining our country. The people here illegally take our jobs, erode our children’s education and massively erode our quality of life. If the estimated 200,000 illegal aliens in Connecticut were rounded up and swiftly deported it would save 9-12k each per year These are services we pay for per year and there would be no state deficits, our wages would rise, jobs would be more plentiful, our health care costs would dramatically decrease and our citizens children would benefit from our resources increasing their higher quality educations. Deport all illegal aliens and support legal immigration after our borders are secure. That is what the citizens want!!!!! Giving licenses to illegals is wrong!

posted by: SocialButterfly | December 2, 2014  4:46pm

Obamaism rules under Malloy.

posted by: ASTANVET | December 2, 2014  8:27pm

DanofiveO - you used a curious word there… “Citizen”... I do not think that word means what you think it means.

posted by: art vandelay | December 2, 2014  10:42pm

art vandelay

@DanofiveO,
We must take into account that our nation IS a nation of immigrants. Granted our immigration system worked extremely well until 1965 when Ted Kennedy introduced legislation onto the Senate floor repealing the Immigration Act of 1922. LBJ signed Kennedy’s legislation into law.  From then on the floodgates were open. We also must take into account technology (Boeing 707) also allowed easier access to the US.

I do not believe our state’s problems will be totally solved by deporting every illegal.  Social Services are a part of our budget, but not the biggest. An over bloated bureaucracy with huge labor costs, frivolous spending (busway/first five) and pension liabilities are also contributing factors.

I’ve come to grips with the fact (like it or not) illegals are here to stay. Maybe the state granting them licenses is NOT a bad idea. Instead of driving away from an accident a newly licensed illegal might stop . 

What I do object to is the license looking VERY much like a legal resident’s license.
What’s to prevent a voting poll checker from allowing an illegal to vote.  If there were some obvious way of telling the difference between a valid LEGAL Citizen’s drivers license vs an ILLEGAL’S. I wouldn’t have a problem.

posted by: Christine Stuart | December 2, 2014  10:48pm

Christine Stuart

The big “DO” in the yellow outline of Connecticut at the top of the license is the difference between a regular license and a “Drive Only” license.

posted by: art vandelay | December 2, 2014  10:58pm

art vandelay

@Christine Stuart,
The Yellow Connecticut on the upper right side is not much of a difference. A different font, the photo on the right instead of the left,
another silhouette in the background besides the state Capitol, or a different color strip on top would be MUCH better. Too easy for a poll checker on election day to get confused.

posted by: Politijoe | December 3, 2014  12:39am

Politijoe

Dano: I guess if we could deport all the illegals our streets would be lined with old and lolli-pops would begin o grow on trees again-come on man, even the hard right conservatives on this site disagree with your scorched earth approach.

Art: glad to see you’ve had a chance to reconsider the license issue as something less than “extremist”  although your concern about voting is a stretch to say the least.

This is a good idea for Ct and long over due.

posted by: dano860 | December 3, 2014  8:38am

Folks, we are a nation of laws too. Being here illegally is in itself a crime, right? The part that bothers me is how we massage those laws them to assist the law breakers and at the same time hurt the law abiding citizens.
I continue to say that these actions don’t pass a thorough “, what if,” test. The long term consequences are the only proof of this action. Also, just because they have a D.O. license it doesn’t mean that they won’t run back to their ‘homeland’ to escape prosecution from an accident they are responsible for.

posted by: DanofiveO | December 3, 2014  9:39am

I find it completely outrageous that having a problem with illegal immigration would be considered “scorched earth” or even off center of the middle of the road. Having people sneaking in the country and working under the table undercutting small businesses who have to pay all the insurances and are bound by a mountain of regulation is a huge problem. Then the immigrants are provided health care by showing up at our hospitals, education showing up at our schools all at our expense. So the same people who regulate us to death and advocate for amnesty are killing the middle class of this country. Please tell me how then allowing these same people here illegally the right to compete for our jobs after freeloading off us is to the American workers benefit?
The cost difference of paying the amnesty crowd social security benefits and Medicare against what they pay in over their life time is 3 trillion dollars, how does that benefit us?
What about the black and Hispanic communities and the poor how does dumping 6 million immigrants to directly compete for their jobs help them? It doesn’t! It lowers our wages and forces us to accept a lower standard and quality of life. It diminishes our kids futures and decimates the middle class. People had better wake up to the erosion of our country. Remember I was a democrat all my life as my parents were. I worked for them at very high levels in state politics and helped elect them.
What the hell was I thinking???
The progressive democratic culture has a socialist agenda that is ruining our country and we must band together and reject the racial divisive tactics over regulation techniques of growing government and diluting what was a great proud nation.  Legal immigration before amnesty secure our borders and remove democrats from office where ever the corrosive brand appears. Listen to Michael Savage and you tell me how he isn’t speaking the straight truth? So if you love your kids country and way of life join your countrymen and women and help fight for it   God ( or your favored higher power ) help us!

posted by: whatsprogressiveaboutprogressives? | December 3, 2014  9:55am

I’m not so sure, and I could be wrong, but I don’t think the caucasian shown in the sample license is who the “do” license is to mainly serve. Seems like whomever( state) created/released that promo didn’t want to infuriate the actual demographic that will most benefit from this act which violates federal code to aid and abet an illegal immigrant.
Secular regressives know that diluting our population with illegals has been a positive step forward for their agenda. It helps foster all of the social, healthcare, and educational programs that are financial burdens for all of us playing by the rules. On the educational side, it helps support the need for e.l.l. and e.s.l.
language programs. When in part, we appear to be failing with our school scores because of this, it supports the need for more money in these programs. This supports the phenomena in which regressives cause a problem and then claim to have a resolution to it. This program in addition to our commander in thiefs shamnesty, is completely unfair and illegal to those who are here trying to get citizenship through existing legal means.
Enforce the laws we currently have. Concocting excuses as to why to why this makes sense is nothing but lies to garner more votes.

posted by: MyOpinion | December 3, 2014  11:14am

What’s next Road signs in Spanish? Then what other languages?  This is getting out of control!  Immigration is for LEGAL immigrants, NOT illegal or undocumented.  It is NOT fair to those who have come here legally! It is NOT fair for those who have to compete for jobs against illegal immigrants! When will our Senators,Congressman, Governors, Mayors, and all other Politicians STOP trying to buy their vote!

posted by: robo1 | December 3, 2014  12:22pm

If there here illegally, why stop there? Why not drive a car illegally too? No insurance…. No registration….no problem!

posted by: Politijoe | December 3, 2014  7:06pm

Politijoe

Danofiveo: you mentioned that “I find it completely outrageous that having a problem with illegal immigration would be considered “scorched earth” ........ Your suggestion that illegal immigration is the source of all societal ills and the only solution is to “round em’ all up and deport them” sounds to me extreme and much like a scorched earth policy.

You said advocates for amnesty are killing the middle class of this country. Please tell me how then allowing these same people here illegally the right to compete for our jobs after freeloading off us is to the American workers benefit? ....... “These people” are taking jobs most Americans don’t want, they are accepting jobs many industries rely upon. These people are accepting jobs from many conservatives because it fills their business needs and these people are paying taxes which support, in part, our schools.

The cost difference of paying the amnesty crowd social security benefits and Medicare against what they pay in over their life time is 3 trillion dollars…..this math doesn’t begin to make sense, most have been paying into the system for years and will continue to contribute for another 30-40 years. Data indicates that this influx will actually help the system.

>>>>What about the black and Hispanic communities and the poor how does dumping 6 million immigrants to directly compete for their jobs help them? It doesn’t! It lowers our wages and forces us to accept a lower standard and quality of life. It diminishes our kids futures and decimates the middle class. People had better wake up to the erosion of our country. Remember I was a democrat all my life as my parents were. I worked for them at very high levels in state politics and helped elect them.

What the hell was I thinking???..........  Illegal immigration isn’t the cause of middle class stagnation this is a gross over simplification, the same as your premise if we round em’ all up and deport them everything will suddenly become better and our children will have brighter futures…...seriously?

>>>>>Legal immigration before amnesty secure our borders and remove democrats from office where ever the corrosive brand appears. Listen to Michael Savage and you tell me how he isn’t speaking the straight truth? So if you love your kids country and way of life join your countrymen and women and help fight for it…..... Oh my God, Michael Savage We’ll that explains it. Savage is 50lbs of crazy stuffed into a 10lb bag. The guy epitomizes conservative extremism. What is interesting are these conservatives contradictions. When it comes to the lack of corporate welfare, living wages and healthcare corporations don’t have to play fair but when the subject pertains to illegal immigrants everything is suddenly completely unfair and is ruining the middle class.

I suspect even the conservatives on this site would appreciate you doing at least some homework.

posted by: uruguay | December 3, 2014  8:17pm

Reading these comments makes me think that according to most Americans ilegal aliens should be deported. How? Going after every Mexican looking person and ask if they have a green card? What about them american born kids? Deny education to them because they come from an illegal family? Something has to get done. Obama is doing very little but trying. People are already here. Let them pay taxes or deportation if they won’t ( all will be registered.) Most Republicans complain , complain but did nothing since 1985.

posted by: justsayin | December 3, 2014  9:44pm

So based on Mr. Seymour comments I can expect a reduction in my uninsured motorist charge on my insurance? Try another spin this one is not working.

posted by: art vandelay | December 3, 2014  11:48pm

art vandelay

@Politijoe,
I believe it was progressively “extremist” to even pass this legislation.  Realistically I do not believe Illegals should have the right to drive any vehicle in Connecticut.  Let them get a foreign driver permit like American citizens have to do when they drive in Europe.

Last week the mayor of Quebec answered the demands of Muslims living in the province. Muslims demanded schools serve Muslim food in the cafeterias.  The mayor’s reply was simple and to the point.  He told the Muslim activists that if they choose to immigrate to Canada they must comply to the Canadian way of life.  Learn the language and adopt our culture.  If you refuse there are a number of Muslim countries that will welcome you with your demands.  If you don’t like what we have to offer, you’re welcome to leave. 

The problem in our country is we do not have politicians with the backbone like the Mayor of Quebec.  I commend the mayor for standing up to the Muslim’s demands.  I wish we had politicians like him in our country.  I do not consider the mayor’s belief “extreme”.

posted by: Politijoe | December 4, 2014  8:02am

Politijoe

Astanvet: tax rates are in fact used as subsidies in the context of wealth distribution. When corporate conglomerates pay zero taxes and guys like Mitt Rommney pays far less than the guy who cuts his lawn, or when the wealthiest vastly increase their net worth and everyone else stagnates as a large result of tax policies then I consider this a subsidy. What were really talking about here is fairness, fiscal soundness and sustainability. This is true with healthcare, wages, the markets, workplaces, the justice system and taxation policies. I suspect some
short-sighted readers will respond with knee-jerk platitudes about life not being fair so deal with it, however the nation was founded in part on fairness and part of governments role is to ensure equal access and a level playing field-in short, fairness. This is a part of democracy and fair, sustainable taxation policies are a critical component to this end.

ART: Its interesting you once again have no comment on the conent of my response and have apparently dismissed it as “coming out of nowhere”. Unfortunately this indicates your not doing enough homework. This data should not be completely foreign to you or anyone else who talks, reads, writes and votes on these issues. As Ive stated before, this is common knowledge that can be corroborated in less than three mins on a Google search….start with Bloomberg, WSJ or USA and let me know if you happen to find data that conflicts with this-absent conjecture, emotional rhetoric and anecdotal statements. In the meantime, what about the data provided and how it pertains to the topic of living wages and working poor,, whats your perspective?

posted by: DanofiveO | December 4, 2014  9:37am

@ AV I like the Quebec solution works for me!
Art dig some into our countries deportation history.  We have done mass deportation where many more left voluntarily than we had to actually deport.
@ PolitiJoe…
- I support enforcing the laws on the books and changes in line with the house bill past this summer NOT the senate bill from last year. If your unfamiliar do your due diligence and re engage me.
- I agree businesses hire discounted labor and we all suffer, it’s a race to the bottom. Businesses should be fined according to the laws on the books now and closed down if they continue the practice. I am ok with guest worker visas and legal immigration.
- what taxes do they pay besides sales tax and indirectly through unscrupulous landlords that harbor these fugitives? NONE landlords should be fined heavily and jailed if they continue to rent to illegal immigrants. people shouldn’t profit from those breaking the law.
- research the cost at the American heritage foundation regarding the cost of Obama amnesty plan the data supports my assertions not yours they are a huge drain on the system and never pay in anywhere close to what they take.
- I do not believe all societies ills will be solved so don’t water down my points. Our kids are paying the price there is no doubt about it.
You need to pay attention, seriously….
You drink the liberal koolaide and gloss over and water down points, get some perspective man!
- in our state the cost of supporting the illegals here in schools and healthcare alone is about 1.5 billion per year, almost exactly our projected deficits moving forward. So yes, if they were deported and we could maintain instead of being taxed more or losing services we would be better off no? Pull your head out of the sand.
- corporate welfare, in CT wouldn’t you agree that Malloy giving hundreds of million of dollars to large corporations and hedge fund operators is corporate welfare ? Good lord wake up it’s the progressive democrats giving away the store to corporations it’s right in front of your nose????
Michael Savage is wacky BUT he can see the forest for the trees. That’s why he has the number 1 radio talk show in the country. As a former democrat I no longer will believe the drivel from CNN they are a mouth piece for the administration and their policies and fox isn’t far behind. I do read from all sources though but common sense is common sense.
Time to wake up Joe join your fellow citizens in protecting the country we love so much. We need everyone to help stop the invasion, secure our borders and institute sensible immigration policies. Releasing 60,000 illegal immigrant criminals from prisons on to our streets each year ( look it up Joe) is not exactly what Homeland security should look like in my opinion.
Now we have all these people coming out for these licenses, they should be immediately arrested and deported!  The law should be followed the state aiding these criminals is over the top Wrong! Deport!

posted by: ASTANVET | December 4, 2014  12:42pm

Politijoe - what is fairness?  as I mentioned before, the Dem Congress/Senate and pres had the ability to change the tax code (which is long overdue).  To argue now that it is unfair when they had the opportunity, unopposed, to change it seems disingenuous.  My only comment on fairness is that it should be in keeping with the equal protection under the law.  Why should anyone be singled out for either making too much or too little.  Fairness is sameness in the application of law, and of opportunity (in my opinion).  Not fairness in outcomes.  This article is about aliens being granted drivers licenses - but in context of your argument of fairness specifically income, we have imported more unskilled labor, who will tilt the scale more for disparity in perceived outcomes.  Must we continually move the bar on what is/is not fair?  In a few hundred years these migrants families will enjoy the same status/wealth as other long standing families.  Why should the government get several bites at the apple (income)?  that seems inherently unfair.  Lastly as a point of clarification, this state/country was not founded out of fairness, it was founded with puritan, Judeo-Christian values, which if we had a little more of (on both sides) perhaps we would not be as bombastic and argumentative with our fellow citizens.

posted by: Politijoe | December 4, 2014  8:06pm

Politijoe

Astanvet: you questioned the definition of fairness…..I suspect fairness is always open to some interpretation, however we all know unfairness when we see it. Your comment regarding “the Dem Congress/Senate and pres had the ability to change the tax code when they had the opportunity, unopposed, to change it now seems disingenuous.”….
This is certainly valid to a point. Dems had control the first two years and MANY things should’ve been accomplished and they were not, largely because Democrats are politically spineless. They don’t vote for their best interests, they don’t wear their progressive and liberal accomplishments as a badge of honor; instead they stand in the corners. That’s one thing I love about Conservatives-regardless of how bat-shit crazy their positions are they proudly stand behind them. However, the Republicans also had eight years to improve taxation policies and did nothing. Instead Bush embroiled us in a false war paid for on credit and enacted tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans also on credit. Although many of these issues are initiated from conservatives (in this case Reagan) it remains less of a partisan issue.

Astanvet you stated “My only comment on fairness is that it should be in keeping with the equal protection under the law.  Why should anyone be singled out for either making too much or too little.  Fairness is sameness in the application of law, and of opportunity, Not fairness in outcomes.”……… I agree, government’s role is to assure fairness of opportunity- a level playing field and not outcomes. I don’t think progressives would argue that point or have suggested these issues are ever about wealth per se, as opposed to equal opportunity to obtain wealth and mobility.

You cited that “ This article is about aliens being granted drivers licenses - but in context of your argument of fairness specifically income, we have imported more unskilled labor, who will tilt the scale more for disparity in perceived outcomes”……..  another valid point and my response is kudos for recognizing this specific dynamic which is the first step we need to take as a nation to address this issue…recognizing wealth disparity absent the emotional, symbolic false patriotism that interferes with finding a viable solution.

Finally your point “this state/country was not founded out of fairness, it was founded with puritan, Judeo-Christian values,”…… Astanvet, another good point, but of course I would add a caveat that fairness was most certainly on the minds of our founders who fled, resisted and fought against the oppressive systems of Monarch justice, taxation and representation encompassed within the puritanical, Judeo-Christian values.

For what its worth, I’m impressed with your intelligent and insightful perspective. This is exactly the type of dialog that is absent among conservatives today, there may actually be hope after all….thank you.

posted by: ASTANVET | December 5, 2014  2:17pm

politijoe - I think it is funny that if you listen to progressive radio and conservative radio they all say the same thing… ‘our party doesn’t ‘play the game’ well’, or they ‘don’t vote their interests’ - What I’m saying is that the political spectacle at the state/fed level is just that.  Spectacle.  I am encouraged that we can find common ground on recognizing the issues - and perhaps with cool heads figure out if some action is required, or if we need to exercise restraint.  There is often a rush to do something.  In my business I would call it a run to the gunfire - but we do those knee jerk reactions to a perceived crisis (which is usually over blown or self created) - either way we all play our parts to that tune - you can follow it like clockwork on sites like this the red team/blue team stuff.  I think patience and rational thought would help determine what is a genuine issue and what is hog wash.  Everyone gets all ginned up for their side and it really gums up the works.  Thanks for the kind comments.

posted by: Politijoe | December 5, 2014  2:51pm

Politijoe

Astanvet: you’re correct there is far too much spectacle and sensationalism in our political discourse today. I understand there will always be some of that in politics-it’s just the nature of the beast, however when Conservatives attempt to legislate morality and Dems propose feel good legislation they both sully the process. My position has always been that once we remove the emotional rehtoric and conjecture, deal with the facts as they are, there usually remains very few absolutes, only moderation.

posted by: SocialButterfly | December 5, 2014  8:08pm

It’s like having a counterfeit legal driver’s license for illegal immigrants. Sounds puzzling and it is.