Bill to allow undocumented immigrants to get Mass. driver’s licenses advances

The Joint Committee on Transportation gave the proposal a favorable recommendation this week.

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The Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation has given its support to a bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain state driver’s licenses.

State Rep. Christine Barber, a lead sponsor of the bill, told the State House News Service the proposal received favorable recommendation from the committee Wednesday.

She said she did not believe that has ever happened before for the bill, which has been proposed for over a decade.

“Folks have been amazing to work with,” Barber told the Service. She pointed to initiatives in support of the bill, including law enforcement support.

The Major City Chiefs of Police Association voted to support the bill last month.


The Transportation Committee recommended a new draft of a bill filed by state Sen. Brendan Crighton with Barber’s version of the bill attached to it, according to the Service.

In a tweet Wednesday, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he was “happy to hear the Work & Family Mobility Act is moving forward.”

“A driver’s license is fundamentally a tool of public safety,” Walsh wrote expressing his support for the bill in a WBUR op-ed published Wednesday. “It requires that all drivers receive training, pass a driver’s test, get their vision checked, and know the rules of the road. It also allows cars to get insured, providing more safety checks and resources. That’s why everyone who needs to drive on our roads should be licensed. It means better drivers and safer roads — for everyone who uses them.”



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