Hours-Long Wait At NY DMV On First Day Illegal Immigrants Can Apply For Licenses

Hours-Long Wait At NY DMV On First Day Illegal Immigrants Can Apply For Licenses


Today, the lines at New York DMVs were crazy, with some wrapping around the block waiting for over 3 hours and even showing up before opening time at 8am.

Today is also the first day illegal immigrants are allowed to apply for driver’s licenses in New York.

The Green Light Law was signed by Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo in June and just went into effect, making it legal for anyone to apply for a driver’s license without regard for immigration status and without the requirement of a Social Security number.

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NBC New York has more to say on the hours-long wait at New York DMVs today:

Undocumented immigrants officially have the “green light” in New York – they can now apply for a state driver’s license thanks to the Green Light Law.

On Monday, the line at the Yonkers DMV wrapped around the block with hundreds of people waiting -- many to obtain their license. 

People started lining up before 8 a.m. As of 11:30 a.m. many were on line for more than three hours. However, the wait did not end once they entered the DMV, because once inside the building they had to wait another three and a half hours to apply for the driver permit/license.

Most of those waiting on line told News 4 they were excited to finally get their license after waiting for years for the opportunity. Some said they are afraid the right won’t last and wanted to take advantage as soon as the right rolled out. 

Additionally, many waiting say the roads will now be safer for everyone since more people will have taken the test, gotten car insurance and proven they can drive safely.

Fox News has more details on the Green Light law:

Illegal immigrants in New York will able to obtain driver’s licenses starting next week after a last-minute legal challenge was dismissed -- making it the 13th state to allow the practice, but one that critics say is unconstitutional.

The Green Light Law, signed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this year, allows anyone to apply for a driver’s license regardless of immigration status and does not require a Social Security number.

Illegal immigrants can use a combination of documents that include a valid passport from a foreign country and a valid foreign driver’s license, as long as it has been expired for less than two years.

“After waiting 18 years to have their right to drive restored, thanks to our legislature, New York can now officially join 12 other states in making driver’s licenses legally available to all residents,” New York Immigration Coalition Executive Director Steve Choi said in a statement this week, arguing that it will make roads safer and the economy stronger.

"This is a major step forward for all New Yorkers as we keep building New York to live up to its full potential of equity, opportunity and justice," said State Sen. Luis Sepúlveda (D-Bronx). "We also look forward to the significant economic and safety benefits the law will bring to communities across our state."

The controversial measure faced multiple lawsuits. Erie County Clerk Michael Kearns, whose lawsuit was dismissed last month, argued that the measure violated federal law and would make New Yorkers less safe.

"My concern is that, after 9/11, New York state put a prohibition on illegals having driving licenses and now with REAL ID in 2005 after we were attacked there will be a gap from today to Oct. 1 that anyone who is here illegally can get into a federal buiulding and can fly on our airplanes and cross our border," he said Saturday on "Fox & Friends."


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