We strongly support HB 2015, The Equal Access to Roads Act, which would provide all Oregonians the opportunity to apply for a Class C driver’s license.
It is essential for all Oregonians to have access to driving privileges, regardless of their ability to provide documentation that proves lawful immigration status. Without a license to drive, individuals cannot perform the most essential daily functions and activities, such as taking their children to school, going to medical visits, grocery shopping, or going to and from their places of employment. In addition, expanding access to driver’s licenses is critical for highway safety.
HB 2015 will benefit both U.S. citizens and Oregonian immigrants. In 2006, for example, as many as 13 million United States citizens lacked ready access to documentary proof of their citizenship, including 12 percent of low-income citizens earning less than $25,000 per year. Under this bill, these individuals who lack birth certificates and passports will still be able to access a driver license.
HB 2015 provides anti-discrimination and confidentiality provisions that will protect all Oregonians who obtain a standard Class C driver’s license. These provisions will ensure that any Oregonian resident who wishes to carry a standard Class C driver’s license can apply for this driving privilege without fear of discrimination, and will assure Oregonians that for state purposes, there is no functional difference between the Class C and REAL-ID compliant licenses.