Pennsylvania Bill Aims to Facilitate State ID or Driver’s License for Undocumented Residents

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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team





In Pennsylvania, there’s a bill making its way through the state House aimed at helping undocumented residents get state IDs or driver’s licenses. Democratic Representative Danilo Burgos authored House Bill 769, seeking to address the challenges faced by undocumented individuals in obtaining essential identification documents.

Rep. Burgos explains that before September 11, 2001, undocumented individuals with an I-10 form could get a state ID or driver’s license in Pennsylvania. But changes in federal laws afterward left it up to states to figure out how to issue licenses to undocumented residents who contribute to the economy through tax payments.

The main goal of the bill is to boost public safety by ensuring that anyone driving on Pennsylvania’s roads has proper documentation and insurance. By providing a pathway for undocumented residents to obtain licenses or state IDs, the bill aims to reduce risks linked with uninsured drivers and encourage responsible road behavior.

Similar bills have already been passed in neighboring states like New York, Delaware, and Maryland. Advocates, including the Filipino American community represented by groups like the Filipino American Association of Pittsburgh, stress the importance of mobility and safety for undocumented individuals.

The association’s president, Leilani Mears, highlights the various benefits of the bill, such as increased public safety and extra revenue for the state. By formalizing the license acquisition process, the state could earn money from processing fees, vehicle purchases, and insurance premiums.

However, the bill’s progress could be affected by political factors, and it’s anticipated that significant action might not happen until after the fall elections. Nonetheless, supporters are hopeful about the bill’s potential to enhance the lives of undocumented residents, improve safety on the roads, and bring in revenue for the state.

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