Rabb: We must remove roadblocks and allow undocumented people to get driver’s licenses, learner’s permits

HARRISBURG, Sept. 24 – State Rep. Chris Rabb on Tuesday during a Policy Committee meeting urged support for legislation that would remove roadblocks preventing undocumented people from getting driver’s licenses and learner’s permits, making it impossible for them to legally drive. Rabb’s testimony highlighted the crucial nature of the bill.

"Undocumented people contribute to our communities in ways we often forget," Rabb said. "Many undocumented people work tirelessly at undesirable and difficult jobs; they contribute income and sales tax; and they make our communities more diverse. In Pennsylvania, they do all this without the ability to get a driver's license. But that needs to change."

"We should remove hurdles to prosperity and success for all people who are contributing members of our communities, commonwealth and country," continued Rabb, D-Phila. "Allowing undocumented people to apply for a driver's license in Pennsylvania using documentation that proves the person's name and date of birth, like their federal taxpayer ID number, would allow them to get a driver's license or a learner's permit, and give them the opportunity to contribute more fully to their community and to support themselves and their family."

Rabb, along with state Reps. Danilo Burgos, Joseph Hohenstein and Sara Innamorato, introduced H.B. 2835, which would allow people without a Social Security number to apply for a driver’s license or learner’s permit using secure alternatives such as a federal taxpayer identification number, a federal waiver for non-issuance of a Social Security number for religious reasons, or any combination of documents that reliably proves the applicant’s name and date of birth, including a valid foreign passport, consular identification document, or certified record of the individual’s birth, marriage, adoption or divorce.

The legislation would also improve public safety, as undocumented people would need to pass a driver’s test, which would likely reduce accidents, make roads safer and reduce the number of unlicensed and uninsured drivers on the road.

Rabb emphasized his hope that the House Transportation Committee will bring this legislation up for a vote soon. Urging his colleagues in the House to support the effort, Rabb said, “this is a commonsense measure to ensure we support undocumented people, who work so hard and contribute to our economy, to fully participate in our communities and support their families.”