The Golden State's
plan to issue drivers' licenses to undocumented immigrants has hit a roadblock.
In May 2014, federal officials said that the proposed licenses were illegal,
because the documents too closely resembled regular drivers' licenses.
California had wanted the two items to be similar, to reduce immigrant
fears that they would be unfairly targeted. But the Department of Homeland Security
rejected the proposed design, which had a "DP" for "Driving Privilege"
on the front and a disclaimer on the back.
Under current law, any such license must be easily distinguishable from
all other forms of identification, mainly for security purposes when boarding
There are well over 25 million drivers in California, and as many as
five million may be unlicensed. Many of these persons are undocumented immigrants and
have never held a U.S. license, while many others have a license that
has been revoked or suspended, or has expired. There are a number of applicable laws: