Voters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts approved a measure allowing undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses, and the cost to roll out the program is estimated at nearly $30,000,000.
The proposed costs to get the ball rolling on the new policy, spearheaded by Democratic Gov. Maura Healey, are mainly associated with getting the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) up to speed with its new role of “verifying foreign documents presented by individuals seeking licenses to the RMV,” on top of having to “hire more customer service representatives and road test examiners, invest in new technology to expand service operations, and develop procedures to ensure data privacy,” MassLive reported Thursday.
Furthermore, the funds seek to expand service hours at the RMV to accommodate the roll-out of the new policy.
Gov. Healey recommended the $28,000,000 figure in her latest annual budget, but the amount must be approved by the state legislature in order to move forward.
“This law represents a monumental step forward for safety and equity in the Commonwealth [of Massachusetts], ensuring that drivers on Massachusetts roadways have demonstrated their knowledge of driving laws and are able to access insurance coverage,” the briefing on Healey’s budget reads.
Massachusetts state legislators passed the bill over the summer of 2022, and Bay State voters then upheld the law in the fall. (RELATED: Massachusetts Voters Affirm Measure Allowing Undocumented Immigrants To Get Driver’s Licenses)
Democrat Question 4 passes, allowing for illegal immigrant to get a driver’s licenses, in the State of Massachusetts 🤦🏻#TheFix is in for the 2024 presidential Elections already 🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/1Yv48xcLZ1
— @StevenWright🇺🇸 (@steven74041494) November 10, 2022
Even if an immigrant lacks legal status, that individual will be able to apply for and receive a driver’s license no different from the one a legal citizen born in the U.S. would receive, with no difference in the attainment process, according to MassLive. The process begins with getting a permit and taking a proper road test. (RELATED: School Bus Driver Charged With DUI While Taking Kids Home)
Most recently, a total of seven new languages have been added to the RMV permit test: “Albanian, Cape Verdean Creole, Hungarian, Kiswahili, Pashto, Turkish and Ukrainian,” according to MassLive.
The new law is set to take effect July 1.