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New driver authorization card for illegal immigrants

A man is being helped in the testing room at the DMV office in Las Vegas, NV
A man is being helped in the testing room at the DMV office in Las Vegas, NV
Chase Stevens/ Las Vegas Review-Journal

There are now two states issuing Driver Authorization Cards (DAC) to illegal immigrants. Utah was the first state to put the Driver Authorization Card (DAC) program into effect. On January 2, 2014 Nevada put the DAC into effect. The DAC is for illegal immigrants that reside in the state of Nevada, it basically takes the place of a driver’s license.

The DAC allows Nevada residents who are not U.S. citizens to legally drive in Nevada. The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles requires the applicant to take and pass a written test and a skills test before receiving the driver authorization card (DAC). Once they receive the DAC, they can use the card to acquire auto insurance legally in Nevada.

There are currently an estimated 60,000 Nevada residents that are eligible for the card, which must be renewed annually. The first three days the program was in effect, the turnout was so great that the agency was forced to turn people away once the examination capacities were reached. The agency also had to turn away many more for not having the proper documentation to apply for the card.

The DAC was created in the 2013 session of the Nevada Legislative with the intent on making roads safer. The state also hopes that the drivers getting the card will increase the percentage of insured motorist in the state of Nevada. When Utah implemented the card, they reported a drop in uninsured motorist in the state of Utah, which gave Nevada the idea to put the program in effect.

The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles reported on Monday that after three days of testing for the DAC, there was a 71 percent failure rate on the written exam. Although they did not report the pass/fail rate on the skills exam, they say applicants do better with the skills exam once they pass the written exam.

California said they will accept the new driver authorization cards from Nevada residents driving in the state of California.

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