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Equal Access to Roads Act scheduled for hearing next week

Thursday, April 11, 2019   (0 Comments)
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An OAN-backed bill that would allow residents get a driver’s license without having to prove citizenship status is scheduled for a hearing next week.
 
The Joint Committee on Transportation will take testimony on House Bill 2015 starting at 5 p.m. next Wednesday, April 17, in Hearing Room F at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem. Letters of support for the bill can also be emailed to jct.exhibits@oregonlegislature.gov.
 
The proposed license would require drivers to prove identity and residency, pass a driver’s test and provide proof of insurance, but it would not be the enhanced license, which is Real ID compliant. The license would not allow the holder to vote, serve on juries or board an airplane. It would become available on January 1, 2021.
 
“Oregon families need the ability to drive legally so they can commute to work, take kids to school, go to church and help family members in need,” OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone said. “Additionally, it is a safety issue for everyone on the road. We believe drivers should have the chance to demonstrate driving skills and get insurance as required by law.”
 
The bill restores driving privileges that some lost with the phase-in of Real ID requirements by the federal government. Other backers besides OAN include Causa, the American Civil Liberties Union, Oregon Farm Bureau and workers organizations such as AFL-CIO, SEIU and PCUN. 
 
“There are many kinds of people who may not be able to produce the documents for a Real ID license,” Stone said. “They may be elderly, born in another state, undocumented, victims of a natural disaster or even victims of domestic violence. This legislation would allow police to focus on the real public safety threats to our communities.”