FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 02/24/2015
Rep. Guerra Joint Authors Bill To Enhance Public Safety
AUSTIN – Today, State Representative R.D. "Bobby" Guerra (D-McAllen) joint authored HB 68, granting Texas driving permits to those eligible with undocumented status.
HB 68 would issue driving permits – not licenses – to undocumented immigrants who can prove they have lived in Texas for at least a year and have no criminal records. The bill would authorize those who qualify to drive and buy auto insurance, eliminating the high volume of uninsured drivers on our Texas roads, and increasing public safety measures across the state. In addition, those eligible for Texas resident driver's permits would be required to enroll in a driver education program, which is a requirement for all Texas drivers. Similar legislation has already been implemented in 12 other states, with California being the latest.
“From an economic and public safety standpoint, issuing Texas residential permits to those who qualify makes a lot of sense. These individuals are already here and working, but unfortunately cannot be a part of the system because of their undocumented status. This bill would guarantee valid permits, enhancing the safety of our roads and highways for Texas residents and drivers,” Guerra said.
Senator Hinojosa has filed the companion bill in the Senate, SB 132. Current policy allows some undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license, such as those who qualify for deferred action, where they are granted a two-year reprieve from deportation proceedings.
“HB 68 would help lower insurance premiums for those of us who are legal residents and required to purchase auto insurance. It would also make our streets safer because we will know they have already demonstrated competence along our highways and roads, in the safe operations of a vehicle, as well as having the necessary liability insurance,” adds Guerra.
Contact: Aisa Showery Legislative Director
(512) 463- 0578 office