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Driver's license bill heads to Ways and Means Committee


Capital Press

SALEM -- A Senate committee on April 15 moved a bill to the Ways and Means Committee with a do-pass recommendation that would allow undocumented immigrants an opportunity to obtain Oregon driving privileges.

The Senate Business and Transportation Committee moved an amended version of Senate Bill 833 on a 4-2 vote, with Sen. Chuck Thomsen, R-Hood River, joining the three Democrats in supporting the bill.

Under SB833, eligible applicants for a driver's license must show proof of identity, have resided in Oregon for a year, pass written and driving skills tests and provide proof of insurance.

Unlike current requirements, however, they won't need to show proof of legal presence.

The amended version calls for the driver's license to read "driver's card."

The license, or driver's card, would be good for four years, half the duration of a normal license.

The short-term licenses could not be used as identification for boarding commercial airlines, to enter protected federal buildings or to buy a gun.

Ways and Means is the Legislature's budget-writing committee. If it continues to move, the bill next would go to the Senate floor.

The new licensing program is expected to be cost-neutral, with fees charged applicants expected to pay for the additional staff and higher operational costs that Oregon Department of Transportation officials say will be needed to administer the driver's card program.

Under the amended bill, the short-term license will cost $64. Cost for a typical noncommercial driver's license is $60.


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