Driver Authorization Card Applications Stay Steady - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Driver Authorization Card Applications Stay Steady

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When the Nevada legislature passed a law that allows undocumented residents to get their Driver Authorization Cards, it was estimated that 60,000 residents would apply.

Just three months after the program started, about 35,000 have already applied for the driving privilege.

The Department of Motor Vehicles is still seeing a steady number of applicants coming in.

Jose Perez-Salinas is one of the latest undocumented Nevada residents to get his Driver Authorization Card. The Incline Village resident says it means a lot to drive legally.

"This is a law that provides us with an opportunity to be able to drive with more security for both us and other people who already have a driver's license in the state," Perez-Salinas said.

About 15,000 cards and permits have already been issued, and DMV officials say they're getting positive responses.

"It's amazing," David Fierro, Public Information Officer for the Nevada DMV said. "As we've talked to these people, how excited they are to be able to drive on the road, legally, and not really looking over their shoulders."

Applicants must prove residency and identity.

Perez-Salinas is using a passport to prove who he is.

And while he says having the legal ability to drive is important to him.

He says it also means they're helping the economy.

"A lot of people go to California for work, and now they have even started buying cars in order to move and drive with more confidence," Perez-Salinas said.

The failure rate for the written test to get a driver's license is 57 percent.

The same test is used to get a Driver Authorization Card, which had a 71 percent failure rate, back in January.

"This was a new process for them," Fierro said. "I think many of them came into the office, not even realizing that there was a test. A test they should have studied for."

Today, that's down to 66 percent.

And Fierro says the ability to get a legal driving privilege makes the roads safer.

"If more of the people on the road, not only are more knowledgeable about the rules of the road, but have insurance, then that's really good for everybody, whether you're here, undocumented or not," Fierro said.

It's estimated that 250,000 undocumented residents live in the Silver State.

That compares to 2.5 million living in California.

The Golden State will start offering their own Driver Authorization Cards in January.

 

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