December 9, 2019

Florida Lawmaker Pushing to Allow All Immigrants the Chance to Get Driver's Licenses [ABC Action News]

This post was last updated on December 8, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

Paul LaGrone of ABC Action News writes:

"A Trump-supporting state lawmaker wants to allow immigrants the chance to get a driver’s licenses – whether they are in Florida legally or not.

In a Full Circle special report, Anchor Paul LaGrone found the potential new driving rules are being pitched as a tool to reduce hit-and-run crashes across Florida, but critics blasted the idea as sending the wrong message to those already breaking the rules.


For the nearly 700,000 immigrants living in Florida illegally, getting a state driver’s license is prohibited and experts say when those immigrants choose to drive without a license it puts everyone on the road at risk.

'Not only is it good for them, but also it would be good for the rest of Floridians too,' said Alexis Davis of the Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added].

The non-profit published a November 2019 report making the case to allow all immigrants a chance to get a license to drive. The report also estimates the state would take in an extra $68 million in revenue from fees, taxes and vehicle purchases."

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