SALEM -- Oregon lawmakers have proposed a bill that would allow four-year driver's licenses for applicants who can't prove their legal residency.
Senate Bill 833, the Short Term Driver's License Bill, was introduced by two Republicans and two Democrats from each chamber of the Oregon Legislature. It would allow applicants to obtain short-term licenses if they meet all other qualifications, but can't provide documentation of legal U.S. residency.
Applicants would have to prove their identity and date of birth, and prove that they have lived in Oregon for at least a year. They would also have to pass the written and driving skills tests.
The license would be used for driving only, and could not be used for buying a gun, boarding a plane, entering a federal building, or voting.
The bill is the product of a diverse workgroup convened by Governor John Kitzhaber. Workgroup members included representatives from business, farm labor, law enforcement, and faith communities, said supporter Jeff Stone, of the Oregon Association of Nurseries. The workgroup focused on enhancing public safety and reducing the number of unlicensed and uninsured motorists.
Stone said an estimated 14 percent of all accidents in Oregon each year are caused by uninsured drivers, at a cost of more then $85 million a year.
This bill will reduce the number of uninsured drivers, and will therefore provide a cost savings to the public through decreased premiums, Stone said.