HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE, 2015
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO MOTOR VEHICLE DRIVER LICENSING.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. This Act shall be known and may be cited as the Drivers Safety Act.
SECTION 2. Under the federal REAL ID Act of 2005, Pub. L. No. 109-13, states are required to comply with federally mandated eligibility criteria in issuing driver's licenses, including requiring proof of lawful presence in the United States. As a consequence, an individual who does not submit satisfactory evidence of lawful presence cannot legally operate a motor vehicle. The REAL ID Act, however, does allow states to issue specialized driver's licenses to individuals who do not meet the restrictive requirements of REAL ID. Adopting this allowance is critical. Since 2010, when the State implemented the federal law's restrictive requirements for proof of authorized presence, the reality has become that a significant number of Hawaii residents who do not possess the necessary documentation are operating motor vehicles without a license, and thus without the mandatory insurance, in order to perform essential daily activities.
The heightened documentary requirements of REAL ID, which go beyond what is necessary to securely or reliably validate residency, age, and identity, unduly burden elderly individuals, houseless individuals, undocumented immigrants, lawfully-present nonimmigrants, and survivors of gender-based violence. The lack of access to licensure hinders the ability of these residents, regardless of their status, to drive safely, legally, and with mandatory motor vehicle insurance while engaging in everyday activities such as going to work or to church, running errands, dropping-off children at school, and taking family members to medical appointments. As women are often the primary caretakers of children, they bear a disproportionate impact of the federal law.
In recent years, there has been a significant increase in state efforts to expand access to driver's licenses for persons who cannot provide proof of authorized presence. Ten states, including California, Connecticut, Illinois, and Maryland, plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, now grant access to a driver's license regardless of immigration status, requiring instead that the applicant establish evidence of current residency in the respective jurisdiction. Two of those states, New Mexico and Washington, have successfully operated programs to allow full driving privileges to residents without documentation of authorized presence for more than a decade and two decades, respectively. In 2014, similar legislation was considered in Hawaii but, ultimately, was not enacted.
The legislature finds that prohibiting access to driver's licenses for a significant portion of Hawaii's residents through restrictive documentary requirements poses a serious threat to the safety of the people of this State. It is clear that the current law needs to be revised and updated to allow for proper review and certification of all motorists in Hawaii, including resident immigrants without documentation of authorized presence. Allowing all age-qualifying residents to obtain limited purpose driver's licenses will improve public safety by ensuring that all drivers are tested for driving skills and able to acquire motor vehicle insurance. The legislature also recognizes that issuance of a distinguishable limited purpose license may invite discrimination against individuals who present or possess those licenses and, as part of this Act, has included language to ensure that a resident of Hawaii who presents a limited purpose license rather than a regular license shall not be discriminated against based on use of that license.
It is not the legislature's intent for this Act to endanger the State's compliance with federal law, including the REAL ID Act. Issuing restricted driver's licenses for the limited purpose of driving a motor vehicle, as long as the licenses are clearly marked as not acceptable for federal identification or other official federal purposes, is permissible under section 202 of the REAL ID Act and will not jeopardize the State's eligibility for federal grants or funding. The limited purpose driver's licenses authorized by this Act will have unique markings that comply with the federal law.
The purpose of this Act is to enable the appropriate licensing authority in each county to issue uniquely identified limited purpose driver's licenses, provisional driver's licenses, and instruction permits to residents who meet the other qualifications for licensure or permit and provide satisfactory proof of their identity and state residency.
SECTION 3. Chapter 286, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§286- Limited purpose driver's license, provisional driver's license, and instruction permits. (a) Notwithstanding section 286-104(7) to the contrary, every person who submits an application for a driver's license, provisional driver's license, or instruction permit that satisfies the requirements of this chapter except for the applicant's inability or refusal to provide satisfactory proof of authorized presence in the United States under federal law shall be issued a limited purpose driver's license, a limited purpose provisional driver's license, or a limited purpose instruction permit that is uniquely identified in compliance with the REAL ID Act of 2005 upon provision of satisfactory proof to the examiner of drivers of the applicant's identity and residency in the State. The examiner of drivers shall accept various types of documentation for the purpose of establishing the applicant's identity and residency in the State, which may be established by more than one document. Acceptable documentation includes:
(1) A valid, unexpired consular identification document issued by a consulate from the applicant's country of citizenship or a valid, unexpired passport from the applicant's country of citizenship;
(2) An original birth certificate;
(3) A current home utility bill, lease, or rental agreement, or deed or title to real property in the State;
(4) A United States Department of Homeland Security Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal;
(5) An official school or college transcript that includes the applicant's date of birth or a foreign school record that is sealed and includes a photograph of the applicant at the age the record was issued;
(6) An official school or college identification card that includes the applicant's full name and a photograph of the applicant at the time the identification was issued;
(7) A United States Department of Homeland Security Form I-20 or Form DS-2019;
(8) A United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival Approval Letter;
(9) A valid identification card for health benefits;
(10) A valid identification card for an assistance or social services program;
(11) A current voter registration card issued by the State;
(12) A wage stub issued in the last six months;
(13) An income tax return filed in the last two years;
(14) A social security card;
(15) One of the following documents which, if in a language other than English, shall be accompanied by a certified translation or an affidavit of translation into English:
(A) Marriage license or divorce certificate;
(B) Foreign federal electoral photo card issued on or after January 1, 1991;
(C) Foreign student identification card; or
(D) Foreign driver's license; or
(16) Other proof of Hawaii residency as designated by the director.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, every application under this section shall be made upon the form and in the manner required by section 286-111, and shall be accompanied by the fee established for non-limited purpose licenses or permits pursuant to section 286-111. The examiner of drivers shall not require any applicant under this section to furnish information regarding the applicant's eligibility or ineligibility for a social security number. The examiner shall not disclose the identity of any applicant who does not provide a social security card or social security number.
(c) Every limited purpose driver's license, limited purpose provisional driver's license, and limited purpose instruction permit issued pursuant to this section shall on its face bear the phrase, "Not acceptable for official federal purposes", and on its reverse bear the phrase, "This license is issued only as a license to drive a motor vehicle. It does not establish eligibility for employment, voter registration, or public benefits." The two phrases shall be printed in a font size no larger than the smallest font size that appears on the card. If the United States Department of Homeland Security determines that limited purpose licenses or permits issued pursuant to this section do not satisfy the requirements of Section 37.71 of Title 6 of the Code of Federal Regulations, adopted pursuant to paragraph (11) of subdivision (d) of section 202 of the Real ID Act of 2005, Public Law 109-13, the examiner of drivers, under the direction of the department, shall modify the limited purpose licenses and permits issued pursuant to this section only to the extent necessary to satisfy the requirements of the federal law.
(d) Every limited purpose driver's license and limited purpose provisional driver's license shall expire in accordance with section 286-106, and every limited purpose instruction permit shall expire in accordance with section 286-110.
(e) A limited purpose driver's license or limited purpose provisional driver's license may be renewed in accordance with section 286-107 and reactivated in accordance with section 286-107.5. A limited purpose instruction permit may be renewed in accordance with section 286-110.
(f) It shall be a violation of law to discriminate against a person because the person applied for, was denied, was issued, holds, or presents a limited purpose driver's license, limited purpose provisional driver's license, or limited purpose instruction permit. Any person who is injured by an unlawful discriminatory practice under this section may bring an action consistent with chapters 378, 489, 515, or other applicable law. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit any cause of action based upon any unfair discriminatory practices for which a remedy is available under state or federal law.
(g) A limited purpose license or permit issued pursuant to this section shall not be used to consider a person's citizenship or immigration status as a basis for a criminal investigation, arrest, or detention.
(h) Documents and information collected pursuant to an application for, denial of, or issuance of a limited purpose driver's license, limited purpose provisional driver's license, or limited purpose instruction permit shall not be considered a public record, shall be confidential, and shall not be disclosed to any federal, state, or local entity by the examiner of drivers or the department except as required by law. The fact that an individual applied for or possesses a limited purpose license or permit issued under this section, rather than a regular license or permit, shall not be recorded, displayed, or otherwise made evident in any system that allows for information sharing, whether automated or otherwise, with other governmental entities.
(i) The director shall adopt rules in accordance with chapter 91 to implement the requirements of this section." SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on January 1, 2016.
Driver's Licenses; Proof of Authorized Presence
Authorizes the issuance of limited purpose driver's licenses, provisional licenses, and instruction permits for individuals who are otherwise eligible for a license or permit but do not present proof of authorized presence in the United States. Authorizes causes of action for victims of discrimination because of the limited driver's license. (HB1007 HD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.