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Oregon bill: DMV could issue temp. driver's licenses to illegal immigrants

Oregon bill: DMV could issue temp. driver's licenses to illegal immigrants
This Feb. 1, 2012, photo shows the Oregon Pioneer statue atop the Oregon State Capitol, in Salem, Ore. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
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PORTLAND, Ore. – A bill that will allow the state Department of Motor Vehicles to issue short-term driver's licenses to people who can't show they are residents of the United States, including illegal immigrants, will be introduced today at the state Capitol.

In addition to illegal immigrants, Senate Bill 833 will allow people such as the homeless and the elderly, who can't prove legal status, to get a special four-year driver's license. Supporters say the bill is aimed to improve traffic safety and reduce the number of people driving without insurance.

The bill has eight sponsors – four senators and four representatives, according to Jeff Stone of Oregon Association of Nurseries, a supporter of the proposal. The bill's sponsors are equally split between Republicans and Democrats.

KATU.com was able to confirm late Monday afternoon that three of the sponsors are Sens. Chuck Thomsen, R-Hood River, Chip Shields, D-Portland and Rep. Jessica Vega Pederson, D-Portland.

The bill requires people to be able to prove their identity, date of birth and that they've lived in Oregon for at least a year, according to the bill's draft documents.

People who want one of the licenses will need to pass written and driving tests. They will also need to obtain car insurance.

The idea is to allow people who can't prove legal residency to be able to drive to their places of work, worship and schools legally, according to the draft documents.

A full list of what documents a person can use to prove residency will be determined by the DMV but will include evidence of an Oregon home address and tax returns.

If a person has a Social Security number, they'll need to supply it; otherwise, they won't have to state they aren't eligible for one.

The short-term license will not allow a person to obtain a concealed weapons permit, buy a gun, or transfer it.

It is intended for driving only and will not allow people to vote, board a plane, or obtain state or federal benefits they aren't eligible for, according to the bill's draft documents.

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