Equal Protection: YES on Measure 88 - Driver Card (2014)

The ACLU of Oregon’s work is rooted in the notion that all persons in Oregon deserve protection under the law and the right to be free from discrimination. We also believe that the purpose of requiring that every driver be licensed should be to ensure that drivers know the rules of the road, have liability insurance and have the skills to drive safely – not to act as a proxy for enforcement of federal immigration law.

We strongly opposed the changes to Oregon law in 2007 that added the requirement for all Oregon driver license applicants and renewals to provide proof of lawful presence in the U.S. Measure 88 is a common sense measure designed to make our roads and communities more safe by creating a limited purpose and limited duration driver “card” that would be available to those that would otherwise qualify for a license but, for whatever reason, cannot “prove” their lawful presence in the U.S. The driver card would only be issued to Oregon residents who meet the following requirements:

•    Pass the State’s written driver knowledge test;
•    Pass the State’s behind-the-wheel driver test;
•    Provide proof of residence in Oregon for more than one year; and
•    Provide proof of identity and date of birth.

Thousands of Oregonians who got drivers licenses before the 2007 changes are unable to renew their licenses, and there are many Oregonians who cannot demonstrate eligibility for a traditional driver’s license, including seniors who were born without or have lost their birth certificate, persons escaping domestic violence situations, veterans with a only military ID, as well as undocumented workers. These Oregonians will benefit from a limited purpose driver card, allowing them to safely and legally get to work, their place of worship and their children’s school.

The driver card could not be used to enter a federal building, to register to vote, or to obtain any government benefit requiring proof of citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S. Driver cards will help Oregon residents follow the law and improve safety for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians by reducing the number of uninsured and unlicensed drivers on the road.