Californians greet 2015 with new laws

rey_andresOf the many laws that greeted Californians in 2015 many have varied significant effects but one law that had been debated fiercely and fought so hard for concerned giving driving privilege to significant number of undocumented people and one that will alter the driving complexion in California.

California is a big state with a lot of laws and more than 900 new ones go into effect in 2015 alone. Some are significant in some perspectives and many other still could be considered “trivial” according to some views.  There’s a new California law on plastic bag ban that you may have heard about and others that  you might have heard about like the one that allows you to  bring your well-adored dogs to outdoor seating restaurants. Of the new laws in effect about 20 are most worthy that range from regulation of massage parlors to how much space your beloved egg-laying hen needs to be happy.

The landmark law giving driving privilege to more than one million beneficiaries takes the big significance.

More than a million driver’s license applications from people living in the U.S. without documentation are expected under a law that passed in 2013that becomes effective this year.

Passage of the law is a dream come true for Marlo B. who for years lived under the shadow of fear every time he took to the road. He came to California as a tourist many years ago and because he was allowed to enjoy the beauty of the State for six months only under his visa, the Department of Motor Vehicle issued him a driver license. He loves cars and had the means to buy his dream car. The piece of plastic enabled him to enjoy touring California and was mesmerized by what he saw and decided to overstay. It was not for long that his driving privilege expired on the day of his birthday and was not able to renew it for obvious reason. He had no documents to show that his license could be renewed. He took the chance and drove around more cautiously at that with an expired license.

AB 60 was heaven-sent to him (and others) even if the license that would afford to drive around the country that he considers his second home identifies him differently. This to him is nothing compared with the peace of mind  that he now has every time he drives.

Waking up at the crack of dawn on the first working day at the Department of Motor Vehicles, he joined thousands already in line in applying for the driving privilege. It was a worthwhile effort for him even if it meant joining the queue at 4:00 a.m. After a long wait, he took the exam which he had prepared for diligently and passed it.

Because of his good driving record in the past he was spared from undergoing the actual driving test and was issued a document that meant more for him this time. As the saying goes, “You only know how valuable something is when you lose it.” The privilege of moving around peacefully has been restored to him as well as with many others praying for the same privilege.

DMV had to open four driver’s license processing centers to accommodate over a million applicants in the next three years.

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