Why Some Should Wait and Others Should Hurry Up

David Chang Photography. All Rights Reserved.

After approximately 20 years California is again allowing residents of the state with no immigration status to apply for a driver’s license.  It is estimated that 1.4 million would benefit with this new law, commonly known as AB60.

California DMV has been preparing for and is expecting a big wave of applicants starting January 2nd. Numerous non-profit organizations as well as different consulates in the state are helping people in gathering the necessary documentation and preparing applicants for the exams at no charge.

Here are few of the reasons we think some applicants should wait until some issues are clarified by the authorities while some others should hurry up or face long delays.


For those who fall under one of these three categories:

1.       Those who obtained a California driver license in the past using false information or fake documents since they could be in risk of facing fraud charges.

2.       Those who have been issued a removal or deportation order by immigration authorities.

3.       Those who have a criminal history.

What to do:

If you fall under one of these categories, wait.  Don’t apply for a driver license yet and instead get more informed. Seek the advice of an attorney or legal organization. There are also several organizations that are offering free help to those trying to apply for the driver license under AB60. Take advantage of that help and make an educated decision into whether to apply for the driver license or not.  

Hurry Up

For those who do not fall under one of the three categories described above, they should start getting into action now. There are around 1.4 million eligible immigrants who are potentially applying for the driver license along with you. Again, take advantage of all those organizations that are helping immigrants to get the documents needed and prepare for the exams for free.

On January 2nd, this blog tried to see how long it would take to make an appointment with the DMV office in San Francisco using the DMV website to start the application process. The system showed that the next available appointment was April 1st!

There are four new temporary DMV locations that are receiving new applicants without appointment. Check this link: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/fo/driver_license_processing_centers


An article posted 01/05/2015 on www.kpbs.org website reinforces the core message(s) of our original post: 1- WAIT: Those who have been deported, received an order of deportation or removal, and those with criminal history should seek legal advice before applying for the driver license. 2- HURRY UP: It could take the DMV 3 years to process all the driver licenses requests under the AB60 law due to the large number of people that qualifies. Read the entire article here:  http://www.kpbs.org/news/2015/jan/05/dmv-watches-how-demand-drivers-licenses-shapes/


1.       Free, free, free. Again, take advantage of one of the numerous non-profits, consulates, and pro-immigrant organizations that are offering workshops and classes for those applying for the driver license under the AB60 for free.

2.       Fraud, Fraud, Fraud. Do not believe those who tell you that they can speed up the process if you pay them extra money or that they know someone inside the DMV that can make things easier for you.

3.       Study, study, study. When the state of Nevada started offering driver license for undocumented immigrants, 90% did not pass the written test. Prepare for the exam so you can pass it on your first try and avoid delays to your own application and everyone else’s.

4.       There are no deadlines to apply for this type of driver license under AB60. So if you want to take your time, it’s OK. 


DMV:  http://dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/ab60/index

Lawsuit filed over immigrant driver's license data: http://www.scpr.org/news/2014/12/17/48745/lawsuit-filed-over-immigrant-driver-s-license-data/

New California driver's license law driving controversy:  http://www.cbs8.com/story/27741395/new-california-drivers-license-law-driving-controversy

California otorga licencias de manejar a indocumentados en medio de fuertes dudas (Spanish): http://noticias.univision.com/article/2203663/2015-01-01/inmigracion/noticias/california-otorga-licencias-de-manejar-a-indocumentados-en-medio-de-fuertes-dudas


This post, as the other posts on this blog, are for information and entertaining purposes only. Do not take this post as legal advice. If you have a legal question, you should always look for an attorney or legal organization. 


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