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Maryland House Votes to Continue Drivers' Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants

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Maryland Undocumented Immigrants Driver's License Debate

A bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to get a driver's license in Maryland has passed the State Senate and is being considered in the House of Delegates. News4's Erika Gonzalez reports.
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The Maryland House voted Friday in favor of a bill to allow undocumented immigrants to continue to obtain and renew driver's licenses.

The state Senate passed the bill March 25 in a 29-18 vote.

While Maryland law currently allows undocumented immigrants to obtain a limited driver's license, the practice had been set to expire in 2015.

This bill, if approved by Gov. Martin O'Malley, would allow it to continue.

The wording on these limited driver's licenses indicate they are not for federal use. The licenses are not valid as voting ID or to be used for boarding airplanes.

Applicants must show proof of identification, provide two years of state income tax filings, and pass a written and a driving exam before they are able to obtain a license.

Supporters of the measure have said the licenses reduce the likelihood of hit-and-run accidents.

Opponents of the legislation have argued that the bill could encourage more undocumented immigrants to move to Maryland.

At present, four states grant driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants: New Mexico, Washington, Utah and Illinois.

Related Topics md politics, immigration
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