Driver’s licenses for all would make far-reaching economic community impacts

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FILE – In this Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, file photo, vehicles crowd Highway 50 in Sacramento, Calif. California is broadening its effort to block the Trump administration from ending its authority to set greenhouse gas emission and fuel economy standards for cars and trucks. It’s joined by 23 states and four cities in suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

A report by the Michigan League for Public Policy is estimating $100 million would be generated in revenue over 10 years as a result of restoring drivers’ licenses to Michigan’s undocumented people.

The report comes as talks of passing the Drive SAFE (Safety, Access, Freedom and the Economy) legislation are proceeding.

Michigan law had allowed undocumented residents to receive drivers licenses up until 2008 — the Drive SAFE law would renew that policy.

“The economic impact is important, but what we’re really talking about here is belonging. We’re talking about parents being able to take their kids to the doctor, to visit grandma, to get to school events. We’re talking about the fact that everyone living in Michigan should have an identity,” said Gilda Z. Jacobs, President and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy.

If the Drive SAFE bills pass, an estimated 55,000 Michigan residents would pass driver’s tests and become licensed.

The Michigan League for Public Policy estimates the passage of the bill would also result in 20,000 vehicle purchases. Fees, registration and taxes from those two factors alone would result in $12 million in annual recurring revenue for the state. This does not take into account the positive impacts on local economies.

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