Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D) on Wednesday signed into law a bill that grants drivers’ licenses to undocumented immigrants, making his state the eighth to do so. The law will allow the state’s thousands of undocumented to begin applying for licenses on August 1, 2014.
Granting licenses to the undocumented is a public safety issue: Unlicensed drivers are three times more likely to cause a fatal car accident. And since they lack insurance, the cost of accidents can be astronomical.
Hickenlooper said that he hopes the licensing effort will be “a first step” toward documenting the undocumented, as the federal government begins to coalesce around a larger immigration reform effort.
The other states that have approved licenses for undocumented drivers include: Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. Connecticut is expected to be next on the list. Meanwhile, Florida’s Governor Rick Scott (R) this week vetoed a licensing bill.