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New Oregon Driver License Law Takes Effect

Chris Lehman

Starting in January, 2021, Oregonians without proof of legal presence will be able to apply for a driver's license. 
It's the result of a bill approved by the Oregon legislature in 2019. It means people won't have to show legal presence when applying for a drivers license or ID card. 
Oregon DMV spokesman David House said nothing else will change. "All the other requirements stay in place: passing tests, fees, proving your identification, proving you're a resident of Oregon, and proving you know Oregon traffic laws through the knowledge test," he said.
Advocates said the new law will make Oregon roads safer by removing an excuse for people to drive without a license. Opponents have said driving priveleges shouldn't be offered to people who are in the country unlawfully. Applicants won't be automatically registered to vote unless they show proof of citizenship. 

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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