A California assemblyman has just put forth legislation which would allow anyone who can prove they pay taxes, no matter what their current immigration status, to obtain a California state driver’s license.

This would be a step toward providing documentation for people who would otherwise be undocumented. It would also open the door for illegal immigrants to obtain legal driving privileges. A new law which took affect this year does allow some illegals to obtain driver’s licenses, but if this new bill passes it would open the door for thousands of more to drive legally on California state roads.

The idea is that by allowing these illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses the roads would become a safer place, not a more dangerous one. These individuals would still be required to obtain all proper vehicle registrations and automobile insurance. They would also be required to fully know and understand all relevant traffic laws and demonstrate they could adequately operate their vehicle within the law.

This is a far cry from what currently seems to happen in California: illegal immigrants are driving on state roads and highways, often in vehicle which are not registered and insured and in clear violation of numerous driving laws. This is likely because they cannot qualify for legal driving status so they resort to getting around by whatever means necessary. A recent study by the California Department of Motor Vehicles showed that illegal immigrants who drove illegally were up to three times as likely yo be involved in a vehicle accident. This might be linked to their inability to understand driving laws or to be qualified behind the wheel.

The proposed legislation is simply a bill for now and there is no certainty it will eventually become law. But it seems a step in the right direction for those who are searching for a way to increase driver safety on the roads in California.