BOSTON (WWLP) – In June, the driver’s license legislation for undocumented immigrants became law in Massachusetts. 22News looked into what this will cost the state.
The law which will allow undocumented immigrants to apply for a driver’s license was challenged last fall but upheld by voters. Now the state has put a price tag on what it will cost taxpayers.
Soon nearly 200,000 undocumented immigrants living in the Bay State will be able to apply for a driver’s license. This is going to put a strain on the RMV and the Healey administration is recommending $28 million dollars go to the registry for things like training, hiring, and new technology and procedures. These funds still need to be approved by the legislature.
Governor Maura Healey said in her budget briefing, “This law represents a monumental step forward for safety and equity in the Commonwealth, ensuring that drivers on Massachusetts roadways have demonstrated their knowledge of driving laws and are able to access insurance coverage.”
Timing though is a problem. The fiscal year 2024 budget is due July 1st and is often late. July 1st is also when the law goes into effect, meaning funding and necessary training to implement the law will not go to the RMV ahead of when undocumented immigrants can begin to apply.
Immigrants without legal status will have to go through the same standard process to receive a state license, like a permit and road test, and will pay standard translation fees, which will bring additional revenue to the state.
The funding will also go to expanding service hours at select RMVs.