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Gray Signs Bill Granting Driver's Licenses To Undocumented Immigrants

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 D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has signed a bill allowing undocumented immigrants to receive driver's licenses in the nation's capitol.

Unless Congress decides to intervene — which isn't considered likely — starting May 1 next year, undocumented immigrants will be able to drive in D.C. using what mayor Gray calls "limited purpose drivers licenses."

The two-tiered system is a step back from what the D.C. council originally pursued — a single driver ID for all residents, regardless of immigration status.

But the council backtracked when it became clear the IDs would be out of compliance with federal law.

Under the bill, the limited purpose IDs will be marked "not valid for federal purposes," meaning they cannot be used to board commercial flights or enter federal buildings.

"What we want is a legal way for people to be able to drive, to be able to get a license, to register get a car, get insurance and to provide that level of safety for themselves, their families and for other residents of the District," says Council member Mary Cheh, who chaired the committee that oversaw the bill's passage.

Ten states, including Maryland, have passed legislation to allow those living in the country illegally to get licenses.

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