Protect Immigrant Drivers

2021 Virginia Legislative Session Priority

A driver gets behind the wheel promising to drive safely and protect others. The DMV should make that same promise: protect Maryland drivers.

In early 2020, Virginia voted to extend driving privileges to undocumented community members. It is a major victory for the immigrant community, granting many members access to the benefits driving offers, including having greater accessibility to employment opportunities, health services, and more. This victory also offers greater security to community members, reducing concerns and fears they may end up in immigration over driving illegally.

Interested applicants can begin the process of obtaining these driving privilege cards in January 2021 at the DMV. However, there are increasing concerns from both community members and advocates that applicants’ private information will fall in the hands of state law enforcement or other third parties, and subsequently ICE.

Without adequate regulations or restrictions in place, privileged information collected by the DMV could be released to entities who do not need or have a lawful reason to obtain this information, or it could be wrongfully disseminated from those who have access.

Virginia needs to place additional barriers for ICE and law enforcement to access personal data from DMV databases, such as requiring a judicial order, subpoena or warrant, and written agreements.
This bill limits an agency’s access to information collected by the DMV so it is not released or shared wrongfully.
These barriers will protect private data collected from immigrant community members from being misused by further regulating what information is released and when, who can access this information, and when it can and cannot be shared.