Immigrants living in Maryland without legal permission can now apply for so-called "second-tier" licenses that allow them to drive on Maryland roads, register cars and obtain insurance, reports theBaltimore Sun.
Nearly 13,000 immigrants have signed up to take driving tests in the coming weeks, the Sun Says. Advocacy groups support the licensing process as a way to promote safety because driversmust know the rules of the road and can get insurance.
Opponent Del. Pat McDonough called it a sign that "Maryland has become the Disney World of America for illegal aliens," the newspaper said.
Maryland's immigrant licenses will include a notation that they are not valid for federal identification purposes, the Sun said. They cannot be used to gain entrance to a federal building or military base. They also cannot be used to board airplanes.
Immigrants who hope to obtain licenses must first obtain paperwork from the state comptroller's office showing that they've filed tax returns for the past two years, the newspaper says. Then, prospective drivers must show the proof of identity and current residence to take the written and driving tests.