New rules to obtain TX driver’s license

AUSTIN (KXAN) – New rules starting Monday will change the way Texas residents receive their driver’s license.

These rules were a last minute addition by lawmakers to the budget bill passed last year.

Under the new law DPS officials are required to ask all new applicants for a driver’s license or ID card to present two documents showing the person’s name and address to establish proof of residency in the state.

Those documents have to show a person has lived in Texas at least 30 days.  Residents with less than 30 days can have that requirement waived by surrendering a valid out-of-state driver license.

Prior to the new rules, DPS officers were allowed to ask for proof of your citizenship or legal status in the country – with something like a passport or birth certificate.

Some lawmakers called the driver’s license measure a way to hurt the immigrant community with possible racial profiling of Hispanics.

Supporters said it’s another way to combat illegal immigration.

Critics believe it might cause problems for some.

“Sometimes it becomes difficult even for people who are here legally to prove, because immigration law is so complex somebody may not be able to easily prove their status here, even though they are here legally,” said Esther Reyes, Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition.

Some groups like the Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition said there are a few positive things with the legislation.

People on short-term visas could get driving privileges and legal immigrants can receive licenses that look the same as citizen licenses.

You can read the rest of this article at: http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/local/austin/new-rules-to-obtain-tx-drivers-license