Illegal Immigrants Line Up Early for Newly Available NY Driver’s Licenses

New York's "Green Light" law went into effect over the weekend.

The controversial Green Light Law took effect in New York on Monday, allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses.

New York is now the 13th state in the country that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver's license.

Security guards at the Yonkers DMV say the lines, which stretched all the way around the block Monday morning, were much longer than usual. Officials urged people to allow more time than usual to get their transactions done. The line was so long at the DMV in Peekskill that workers told applicants they might not even make it in the front door Monday to start the process.

The new Green Light Law allows undocumented immigrants to apply for a driver’s license without a Social Security card. The state now accepts foreign documents to establish identity. Applicants must also pass a written test and a road test.

Illegal immigrants in New York will able to obtain driver’s licenses starting next week after a last-minute legal challenge was dismissed -- making it the 13th state to allow the practice, but one that critics say is unconstitutional.

The Green Light Law, signed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this year, allows anyone to apply for a driver’s license regardless of immigration status and does not require a Social Security number.

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The controversial measure faced multiple lawsuits. Erie County Clerk Michael Kearns, whose lawsuit was dismissed last month, argued that the measure violated federal law and would make New Yorkers less safe.

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The Associated Press cited an estimate by the Fiscal Policy Institute that approximately 265,000 illegal immigrants in New York will get driver's licenses in the next three years, with more than half from New York City.