Migrant driver’s license bill clears House

MONTPELIER — On Tuesday, the Vermont House passed legislation that would allow farmworkers in the state to apply for driving permits, regardless of their legal status.
The bill, which passed with a decisive 105-39 vote, was largely intended to aid Vermont’s population of 1,500 migrant workers that staff dairy farms across the state. It creates a way for individuals who cannot produce a social security number (or other specific forms of identification like a U.S. passport or green card) to apply for a Vermont driver’s license.
Applicants still have to prove their identity through photo identification, and prove Vermont residency. Applicants also have to pass eye exams, written tests, as well as a road test in an inspected and insured vehicle.
Few dispute that migrant workers keep Vermont’s struggling dairy industry afloat and the bill, S.38, had strong legislative support this session. The Senate passed it by a 27-2 margin. Gov. Peter Shumlin supports the bill and has said he will sign it into law.

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