Green Light Law
The Green Light Law, officially known as the Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act, was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo in June 2019 and took effect in December 2019. Here are some key points about the Green Light Law:
Driver's License Access for Undocumented Immigrants
The main purpose of the Green Light Law is to allow undocumented immigrants in New York to apply for and obtain a standard driver’s license. This is intended to improve road safety by ensuring that all drivers, regardless of their immigration status, are trained, tested, and insured.
To obtain a driver’s license under the Green Light Law, applicants need to provide certain documentation to prove their identity and residency in New York. The specific requirements may include documents such as a valid passport, foreign driver’s license, utility bills, and other proof of residency.
The law includes provisions to protect the privacy of applicants. It restricts the disclosure of information to federal immigration authorities unless a court order is presented.
What is the Green Light Law in New York?
Under the Green Light law, immigrants over the age of 16 can use their current documentation to qualify for a driver’s license in New York state.
This means that border officials won’t be able to access New York state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database. Legally getting information from the DMV requires a court order, subpoena, or warrant from a judge. The NY DMV also doesn’t have to release information to ICE, Citizenship and Immigration Services, or Border Protection.
Who Is Affected by the NY Green Light Law?
All New York residents over the age of 16, including undocumented immigrants, can now legally apply for a New York State driver’s license. The license also serves as a legal form of photo identification. One month after New York’s Green Light law took effect, more than 50,000 undocumented immigrants received a New York State driver’s license.
States with Green Light laws:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Oregon, Utah
How to Get a New York Drivers License Under the Green Light Law
There are specific requirements a driver must meet to get a New York license. Beginning December 16, 2019, the New York DMV will accept any form of identification on their license and permit document guide.
Proof of identity accepted under Green Light Law:
Foreign birth certificate
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