DENVER – At least 20 state public health organizations have thrown their support behind a new bill in the state Legislature that would amend the Colorado law that allows undocumented people to obtain a driver’s license or ID card.
Under current law, people living in the state illegally are able to obtain a driver’s license or ID if they can present a government-issued taxpayer ID number at any of six specified DMV locations. The licenses are also more costly ($79) than licenses for residents ($25).
If passed, House Bill 1206 would allow undocumented people to also use a government-issued Social Security Card to both obtain and renew their license.
If undocumented people already have a license or ID under the current rules, they will be able to upgrade to the new card, should the bill pass the governor’s desk.
An estimated 120,000 people are eligible for the special licenses or ID cards, according to the I Drive Colorado campaign – an alliance between immigration and social justice groups in Colorado.
The bill comes at the same time that a report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a nonpartisan nonprofit based in Washington, that says Colorado has an estimated 163,000 undocumented immigrants who contributed $139.5 million to the state in income, property, sales and excise taxes in 2015.
The report says that nationwide, undocumented immigrants pay $11.7 billion in taxes each year, which the nonprofit says would increase by an additional $2.1 billion if they were granted legal status.
House Bill 1206 is set for its first hearing in the House Local Government Committee on March 15. It was introduced Feb. 24 and is sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Boulder, and Sen. Dominick Moreno, D-Adams Co.