OLR Bill Analysis

HB 6366 (as amended by House “A”)*

AN ACT MAKING FOREIGN BIRTH CERTIFICATES A SECONDARY PROOF OF IDENTITY FOR A "DRIVE-ONLY" OPERATOR'S LICENSE.

SUMMARY:

This bill changes the types of documents that the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may accept as primary or secondary proof of identity of applicants for “drive only” licenses. It allows applicants to submit two additional types of documents as secondary proof but prohibits the use of three types of documents the law currently allows. It reduces, from three to two, the types of documents DMV may accept as primary proof.

It prohibits applicants, when presenting this information as primary or secondary proof of identity or as proof of residency, from submitting documents that are photocopies, notarized photocopies, or noncertified documents.

It requires, starting July 1, 2016, that the back of a “drive only” license contain a statement that the license cannot be used for voting purposes. Licenses issued before that date must have this statement added when they are renewed.

*House Amendment “A” replaces the underlying bill. It (1) allows the use of original birth certificates with a raised seal as secondary proof of identity, as did the underlying bill; (2) makes additional changes in the types of documents that DMV may accept as primary or secondary proof of identity; (3) bars the use of certain documents for those purposes or for proof of residency; and (4) adds the restriction that must be placed on the back of a “drive only” license.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2015, except the provision adding the statement to the back of the “drive only” license takes effect July 1, 2016.

PROOF OF IDENTITY FOR “DRIVE ONLY” LICENSES

The bill changes the type of documents people must provide to obtain “drive only” licenses. By law, the DMV commissioner may issue these licenses for driving purposes only to individuals who cannot provide DMV with proof of legal U. S. residency or a Social Security number. The license only allows the license holder to drive; he or she cannot use it for federal identification purposes (e.g., boarding a plane) or as proof of identity to vote (CGS 14-36m).

To obtain a “drive only” license, applicants must, among other requirements, provide DMV with proof of residency in the state and identification, which can be either (1) two forms of primary proof of identity or (2) one form of primary proof of identity and one form of secondary proof of identity.

Primary Proof of Identity

The bill eliminates an applicant's ability to use, as primary proof of identity, a consular report of his or her birth in a foreign country. As under current law, applicants will still be able to use a (1) valid, unexpired foreign passport, or one that expired less than three years before the date of application, or (2) valid, unexpired consular identification document issued by their country of citizenship.

Secondary Proof of Identity

Starting July 1, 2015, the bill allows applicants for “drive only” licenses to use, as secondary proof of identity, a (1) valid foreign national identification card or (2) original birth certificate with a raised seal issued by a foreign country. But applicants will no longer be able to use for this purpose a (1) valid foreign voter registration card, (2) certified school transcript, or (3) baptismal certificate or similar document. As under current law, applicants may still use a (1) valid, unexpired driver's license with security features, issued by another state or country or (2) certified copy of a marriage certificate issued by any U.S. state, territory, county, city, or town.

By law, any form of proof of identity submitted to DMV in a language other than English must be accompanied by a certified English translation prepared by a translator the commissioner approves.

BACKGROUND

Related Bill

SB 506 (File 430), reported favorably by the Transportation Committee, requires the DMV commissioner to (1) use distinctive numbers or lettering as part of the license number of “drive only” licenses to easily identify them and (2) provide information to registrars of voters on identifying these licenses.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Transportation Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

18

Nay

13

(03/18/2015)