Over the past 10 months,Texans from across the entire state have come together to support each other to ensure that their communities can weather the pandemic. Young and healthy people are running errands for their elder and immunocompromised neighbors to help keep them safe.Workers continue to show up to do essential jobs, such as: stock grocery shelves, care for the sick, harvest crops, and deliver food. Texans are doing their best to provide for their families and communities have come together to care for children and families that have lost their livelihoods, or worse, their loved ones throughout the course of this public health and economic crisis.
w more than ever, we need to make sure all Texans are able to care for themselves and each other, and stay safe on the roads.
In order to do that, it is critical that all Texans have the opportunity to obtain a valid driver's permit.
A conditional driver’s permit for all Texans, regardless of background or immigration status would:
1. Make Texas’ roads safer.
Increased access to driver’s permits will help ensure that people get the training and education they need before hitting the road. Expanded access to driver’s permits will also reduce the number of uninsured vehicles on the road in Texas, which is currently 2.2 million, by allowing all drivers to secure insurance. Ultimately, enhancing our collective public safety and lowering driver’s insurance rates for all Texan drivers.
2. Ensure the continued economic contribution of immigrants.
Texas immigrants that lack documentation needed to apply for a driver’s license have a spending power of $30.6 billion, and 89% of undocumented immigrants in Texas are of working age. Providing access to driver’s permits increases their ability to participate fully in Texas’ economy, boosting their spending power and tax contributions.
3. Remove barriers to access to drive for all Texans.
Due to strict and burdensome requirements currently in place to receive a valid driver’s license in the state, many Texans, including U.S. citizens and lawfully present residents, are unable to secure a license. For people displaced by natural disasters, survivors of domestic violence, people experiencing homelessness, and formerly incarcerated individuals who cannot produce required documentation for a driver’s license, providing access to a conditional driver’s permit would remove barriers to drive legally, and facilitate their reintegration into society.