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April 16, 2020

Governor of Virginia Ralph Northam recommended an amendment to driver privilege card legislation that would make driver privilege cards look more like regular non-REAl-ID Virginia driver's licenses. We wrote a letter to the governor asking him to make Virginia driver's license accessible to all, regardless of immigration status. The statement below can be attributed to the ACLU of Virginia Executive Director Claire Gastañaga:

"On April 22, the legislature will take up an amendment recommended by Governor Northam to the driver privilege card legislation (Senate Bill 34 and House Bill 1211 ). The governor's amendment seeks to reduce the likelihood of discrimination against people holding a driver privilege card by making the card look more like a regular driver's license. The amendment doesn't, however, undo the fundamental discrimination inherent in offering only some residents of Virginia a different kind of driving privilege card that they can only get if they prove that they paid state taxes. We are glad that the governor is trying to mitigate the discriminatory effects of this legislation but disappointed that he didn't simply recommend amendments that would have made regular driver's licenses available to all residents of Virginia without discrimination."