Driving Privilege Card Bill To Be Proposed - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Driving Privilege Card Bill To Be Proposed

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GEORGETOWN, Del. - Karina Gonzalez and Edwin Gomez told WBOC that it's no secret: Many in Georgetown are there illegally. And they said another fact is well-known: Many of these people are driving, with or without a drivers license.

"It's really necessary to drive," she said in Spanish. "Because we have to drive our kids. We have to drive to the doctor. There are different places we have to travel to."

They were eating at La Mexicana in Georgetown on Wednesday afternoon, and they said they were thrilled to hear that a new bill issuing driving privilege cards could be around the corner. The potential legislation comes four months after a task force recommended issuing Driving Privilege Cards to qualified undocumented immigrants.

Sen. Bryan Townsend (D-Newark) said he hopes to sponsor the bill by late April or early May. Under the bill, applicants for the card would have to pass a written, road, and vision test. They would also have to enroll for insurance.

"I want to introduce this legislation to promote road safety in Delaware," he said. "Policy makers have known for many years that undocumented individuals drive on our roadways. The bigger issue of immigration reform must be solved at the federal level, but here in Delaware we should do whatever we can to make roadways safer."

Already though, some lawmakers are voicing concern, including Sen. Brian Pettyjohn (R-Georgetown).

"There are a couple reservations," Pettyjohn said. "Primarily - first - that when we have a person that is wanting to try to obtain this driving privilege card, we really don't know who the person is."

Pettyjohn said one way to address this would be to add fingerprinting to the process. Many in law enforcement have also called for this policy. Townsend did tell WBOC that this addition is "on the table."

"I appreciate this input," said Townsend, referring to the fingerprinting concerns. "And we are factoring it in to the legislative process."

These driving privilege cards would not be equivalent to drivers licenses. Specifically, they can only be used for driving purposes, and not for any other identification.

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