BOSTON (WWLP) – State Senators passed a bill that gives undocumented immigrants the ability to obtain a driver’s license Thursday.

Democrats believe providing a pathway to obtaining a driver’s license will just make the roads safer, Republicans, however, believe it’s just a step too far. The first time a bill was proposed to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license was in 2003.

Under this legislation, undocumented immigrants that apply for a license would need to prove their identity and residence. The identification would be valid for basic identification and driving. It would not be a REAL ID, so this would not be a valid form of federal identification.

“We’ve been giving immigrants with green cards and also with proper documentation licenses in the Commonwealth for years, this is to make sure that undocumented individuals are able that life here, that have been living here for years, to be able to operate and move amongst us safely,” said Senator Adam Gomez of Springfield.

Republicans have been vocal opponents of the bill. They are concerned with automatic voter registration, illegal immigration, and identity theft.

“If you’re here illegally and you want to become legal, this is counterproductive. It doesn’t make much sense because you’re giving somebody a disincentive to then try to come here legally and I think that that’s a problem,” said Senator Ryan Fattman of Blackstone.

Governor Baker has also voiced his concerns regarding automatic voter registration, saying that the RMV would be “Flying Blind” when it comes to issuing driver’s licenses for undocumented individuals.

A similar version of the bill has already passed the house.