Executive Summary

To many of the 3.6 million licensed individuals in New York City, a driver’s license is often nothing more than a thin, plastic card tucked in between a few crumpled bills and grocery receipts in their wallets.[1] However, for undocumented immigrants living throughout the five boroughs, that piece of plastic represents much more than the ability to legally drive a car—it symbolizes increased economic opportunities, stronger families, and a chance to integrate more fully into New York City.

Today, there are approximately 570,000 undocumented New Yorkers living throughout the five boroughs.[2] They live, work, and raise families in our communities and neighborhoods, but unlike the rest of us, they do not have the privilege of being able to drive legally. Even with one of the largest public transportation systems in the world, driving is still an integral part of everyday life here in New York City—meaning that undocumented New Yorkers living in transit deserts and other parts of New York State face even greater barriers to integrating into their communities.[3]

This report, by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, calls on New York to join the growing list of states that have been issuing driver’s licenses to all immigrants regardless of their immigration status, and highlights the economic and societal benefits that New York City in particular could reap if the current policy were reformed.

Based on an analysis conducted by the New York City Comptroller’s Office of data from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYS DMV) and the U.S. Census Bureau, the report predicts that up to 150,000 undocumented immigrants currently living in New York City would be eligible for driver’s licenses if legally permitted to do so. Granting licenses to these individuals could have the following benefits:

Improvements in Public Safety

  • Just as twelve states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico have already discovered, extending driving privileges will give undocumented immigrants the chance to learn the rules of the road, purchase insurance policies, and interact more openly with law enforcement officials, making roads safer and building trust between police officers and immigrant communities.

Stronger Families & Increased Financial Stability

  • Providing undocumented New Yorkers with driver’s licenses would make it easier for them to attend more school events, explore the many amenities that the City has to offer, and open bank accounts, nurturing their children’s educational development and increasing their families’ financial security.

Increased Employment Opportunities

  • Undocumented New Yorkers contribute to our economy in an untold number of ways, and collectively pay $1.1 billion in taxes to the City and State annually. However, since they are not able to legally drive, too many are held back from fully contributing to the economy. Issuing licenses to these individuals would allow them to seek opportunities in other boroughs and neighborhoods, further amplifying their already significant contributions to the City’s economy.

Lower Auto Insurance Premiums

  • According to a recent study, drivers in states that do not provide licenses to undocumented immigrants pay an average of $17.22 more per year for auto insurance. Given that New York has one of the largest populations of undocumented immigrants in the country, enacting this policy could yield millions of dollars in insurance premium savings for New York motorists.

Increased Revenues That Would Offset Program Costs

  • Legally licensing 150,000 undocumented immigrants would:
  1. Generate up to $9.6 million in driver’s license fees for New York State. An additional $1.3 million would go to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in license fees.
  2. Boost sales in the auto industry by 2.7%, generating $4.2 million in registration and title fees and annual revenues of about $730,000 for New York State, $840,000 in vehicle use tax for New York City, and revenues of $1.4 million for the MTA. Vehicle and gasoline sales taxes related to the auto industry would also increase by $10.3 million for the State, $11.6 million for the City, and $1 million for the MTA annually. An expected increase in motor fuel consumption would further generate $8.3 million per year in state gas tax revenues, which are dedicated to funding transportation infrastructure.

An additional 150,000 driver’s licenses would increase the number of valid license holders in New York City by 4 percent but only modestly impact operating costs at the State Department of Motor Vehicles. New state revenues from license and vehicle ownership fees would substantially offset these new costs.

To realize these benefits, New York State should adopt legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for and obtain licenses. Once enacted, the City should collaborate with immigrant rights advocates and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to launch a public awareness campaign to inform all New Yorkers about the new policy.

Taking this pragmatic step will help bring the City’s undocumented community out of the shadows, continue to build upon our vibrant immigrant legacy, and plant the seeds for future economic growth—further bolstering our reputation as the immigrant capital of the world.

The Growing Trend of Licensing Undocumented Immigrants

A growing number of states are providing opportunities for undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. As shown in Figure 1, a total of twelve states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico currently grant licenses to undocumented immigrants. Washington, New Mexico, and Utah were the first states to do so, while the rest of the states began enacting this measure in 2013. Florida, North Carolina, and New Jersey are also considering extending driving privileges to undocumented immigrants.[4]

Figure 1: States That Offer Driver’s Licenses to All Immigrants [5]

State Year Enacted
California 2013
Colorado 2013
Connecticut 2013
Delaware 2015
Hawaii 2015
Illinois 2013
Maryland 2013
Nevada 2013
New Mexico 2003
Puerto Rico * 2014
Utah 2005
Vermont 2013
Washington 1993
Washington, D.C. * 2013

*Note. Non-States Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. have also been included.

While the majority of the states listed above enacted this measure around the same time, many implemented different policy solutions. The federal REAL ID Act of 2005—a law passed by Congress that created minimum security standards for state-issued identification cards—permits states to grant driver’s licenses to undocumented individuals as long as they utilize a unique design or color and clearly state that they cannot be used for official federal purposes, such as boarding an airplane or accessing a federal facility.[6] The states listed in Figure 1 have each interpreted this law differently, resulting in a diverse set of licensing schemes.

Examples of how this policy has been implemented include the following:

  • California: Starting in January 2015, all eligible immigrants in California, regardless of their immigration status, were able to apply for driver’s licenses.[7] Assembly Bill 60, the law that made this possible, required “the department to issue an original driver’s license to a person who is unable to submit satisfactory proof that the applicant’s presence in the United States is authorized under federal law.”[8]

The AB 60 driver’s license is identical to a “regular” California driver’s license except for two slight differences—the front of the card displays the letters “DP” instead of the existing “DL,” while the back bears the following notice: “This card is not acceptable for official federal purposes. This license is issued only as a license to drive a motor vehicle. It does not establish eligibility for employment, voter registration, or public benefits.”[9] As a result, these licenses cannot be used for identification purposes, but they can still be used to drive anywhere within the state of California.[10]

  • Illinois: Illinois began issuing Temporary Visitor Driver’s Licenses (TVDLs) to undocumented immigrants in December 2013. Bill SB0957, which was signed by Governor Pat Quinn in January 2013, allows the Secretary of State to issue TVDLs to individuals who have resided in Illinois for more than a year, are ineligible for a Social Security number, and are unable to provide proof that they are authorized to be in the United States.[11]

Different from the driver’s licenses being issued in California, TVDLs are visually distinct from regular Illinois licenses. For example, in addition to having the phrase “Not Valid for Identification” written on the front, TVDLs utilize a purple color scheme, as opposed to the red scheme used for regular driver’s licenses.[12]

  • Washington: In 1993, Washington became the first state to extend driving privileges to undocumented immigrants. House Bill 1444, which was approved on May 17, 1993, allows applicants who lack social security numbers to apply for “identicards” or Washington state driver’s licenses as long as they can provide the necessary documentation—such as gas bills and credit card statements—to prove Washington residency.[13]

However, unlike other states that have used different colors and phrases to differentiate these licenses, Washington provides its undocumented residents with driver’s licenses that are identical to the ones being used by everyone else in the state.[14]

The Benefits of Extending Driving Privileges to All New Yorkers

If New York were to pass legislation expanding driving privileges to all New Yorkers regardless of their immigration status, there could be many benefits:

Benefit #1: Improvements in Public Safety

Granting driver’s licenses to all New Yorkers would give undocumented immigrants the opportunity to formally learn the rules of the road and interact more openly with police officers—increasing roadway responsibility and strengthening local law enforcement efforts.

Since undocumented New Yorkers applying for licenses will be required to pass a variety of written knowledge and road tests, streets and roadways will become safer for all drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians traveling throughout the five boroughs.

Evidence from New Mexico and Utah further supports this argument. For instance, ever since it started issuing driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants in 2003, New Mexico has experienced significant drops in both its traffic fatality rate and the rate of uninsured vehicles traveling on its roads.

From 2003 to 2013, New Mexico’s fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled fell from 2.11 to 1.21—a decrease of approximately 43 percent.[15] Furthermore, between December 2002 and 2011, the rate of uninsured drivers on New Mexico’s roads fell from 33 percent to approximately 9 percent.[16]

Similarly, Utah saw record lows in traffic fatalities in 2012 and 2013. Between 1999 and 2012, Utah’s traffic fatality rate decreased by 32 percent, while it fell by 23 percent between 2005 and 2012. Additionally, according to the most recent estimates from the Insurance Research Council, 5.8% of Utah’s motorists are currently uninsured, which is less than half of the national average of 12.6%.[17]

In addition to making roads safer, extending driving privileges to all New Yorkers will help build trust between local police and immigrant communities. As police officials from across the country have stated, individuals without legal documentation may be hesitant to engage law enforcement if they are either a witness to a crime or a victim of a crime. For example, the Chief of Police in Dayton, Ohio, Richard Biehl, explained that “if individuals are undocumented, there is a significant deterrent for them potentially to report crime.”[18]

If undocumented individuals are reluctant to interact with law enforcement officials because they fear being deported after revealing their immigration status, crimes—including hate crimes and domestic violence incidents—may go unreported.[19] With driver’s licenses, however, undocumented New Yorkers may feel more at ease communicating with police officers during traffic stops and come forward to report crimes, making neighborhoods safer and more inclusive for all New Yorkers.

Benefit #2: Stronger Families & Increased Financial Stability

Recent studies have shown that children with undocumented parents exhibit educational deficits when compared to the children of native-born and legal immigrant parents.[20] One key explanation for the finding is that many undocumented parents endure long and unpredictable work schedules at low-paying jobs, which ultimately prevent them from being able to fully and actively engage in their children’s educational lives.[21] Indeed, over the years, numerous reports have shown that increased family involvement results in improved academic achievement.[22] From better attendance to higher GPAs, students with involved families simply outperform their classmates at school.[23]

Access to driver’s licenses can help to alleviate part of this burden and help parents be more involved in their children’s education. Since undocumented immigrants throughout the five boroughs cannot legally drive, they often have to budget additional time on the bus or train in order to attend a parent-teacher conference or other school activity. However, given the rise in subway delays, increased ridership, and overnight and weekend track work across the five boroughs, commutes have become more time-consuming and unreliable for many New Yorkers.[24] Granting licenses to undocumented New Yorkers would make it easier for them to drive to events like parent-teacher conferences and become more fully involved with their children’s education.

Furthermore, issuing driver’s licenses to undocumented New Yorkers will also help promote financial inclusion. While the City’s IDNYC program has been successful in connecting undocumented New Yorkers to various services and programs, banks across the five boroughs have been slow to accept these identification cards as primary sources of identification.[25]

Providing an additional form of identification, in this case a State-issued driver’s license, may help to make it easier for undocumented immigrants to open bank accounts. While there is little uniformity in how banks choose to establish a person’s identity  for purposes of opening an account, access to an official State-approved ID can only serve to help undocumented immigrants in the five boroughs access the formal banking system.

Benefit #3: Increased Employment Opportunities

Undocumented New Yorkers contribute to our economy in an untold number of ways, and collectively pay approximately $1.1 billion in taxes to New York City and State annually.[26] However, because these New Yorkers lack the economic opportunity and mobility that results from being able to legally drive, too many are held back from fully contributing to their community and our economy.

When forced to drive illegally—either to get to work, take their children to school, or tend to medical emergencies—undocumented immigrants risk more than just fines and traffic violations; they also risk being separated from their families by being placed in deportation proceedings.[27]

Rather than take this chance and find a job that requires a car, many undocumented immigrants end up spending hours each day shuffling between different buses and trains just to get to work. For example, for someone living in the Rockaways section of Queens, getting to Jamaica—another neighborhood in the very same borough—can take up to two hours on a “good day.”[28]

Consequently, many undocumented immigrants are caught in a difficult situation; those who are able to afford a car are often unwilling to use it, while those unable to afford one are often forced to spend long hours commuting to get to work. Access to a driver’s license can help both of these populations, by making it possible for those with access to a car to legally drive, and for those who use public transportation to consider using a car, if possible. Additionally, this increased mobility would also allow currently undocumented immigrants to seek better-paying opportunities in other boroughs and neighborhoods.

Benefit #4: Lower Auto Insurance Premiums

Although New York State has one of the lowest rates of uninsured motorists in the country at approximately 5.3% according to the Insurance Information Institute, its drivers continue to pay higher insurance premiums as a result of having to cover the costs of accidents involving uninsured motorists.[29]

Recent studies, however, have found that adding thousands of additional insured drivers to New York’s roads will decrease costs for all drivers. According to a 2015 research paper published in the Southern Economic Journal, drivers in states that do not provide licenses to undocumented immigrants pay an average of $17.22 more per year for auto insurance, further bolstering the argument that preventing undocumented immigrants from obtaining licenses only increases the financial burden placed on licensed motorists.[30] A recent study in California also found an unexpected increase in insured vehicles after the state began issuing licenses to all immigrants.[31]

Furthermore, estimates from states that have allowed undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses suggest that the savings for New Yorkers could be significant. For instance, the Illinois Highway Safety Coalition estimated that Illinois policy holders would save $46 million a year in premium payments if 125,000 immigrants were to obtain driver’s licenses.[32] Given that New York State has one of the largest populations of undocumented immigrants in the country, reversing the current policy could yield even greater savings for New York drivers.[33]

Benefit #5: Increased Revenues That Would Offset Program Costs

Based on an analysis conducted by the New York City Comptroller’s Office of data from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and the U.S. Census Bureau, up to 150,000 undocumented immigrants in New York City could apply for driver’s licenses, if legally allowed to do so.

If that were to happen, it would generate revenues that would substantially offset the administrative cost of an expanded driving population. Specifically, it would:

  1. Generate up to $9.6 million in driver’s license fees for New York State. An additional $1.3 million would go to the MTA in license fees.
  2. Boost sales in the auto industry by 2.7%, generating $4.2 million in one-time registration and title fees and annual revenue of about $730,000 for New York State, $840,000 in vehicle use taxes for New York City, and $1.4 million for the MTA. Vehicle and gasoline sales taxes related to the auto industry would also increase by $10.3 million for the State, $11.6 million for the City, and $1 million for the MTA annually. An expected increase in motor fuel consumption would further generate $8.3 million per year in state gas tax revenues, which are dedicated to funding transportation infrastructure.

New state revenues from license and vehicle ownership fees would substantially offset modest new costs to the State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to process additional licenses. The actual costs would be larger in the first few years of implementation and would depend on the breadth of outreach efforts.

Case Studies

The following case studies are real-life examples that demonstrate how expanding access to driver’s licenses will impact the lives of undocumented New Yorkers living throughout the five boroughs.

Case Study #1

Gerardo is an undocumented, 28-year-old man who emigrated from Mexico to New York City in 2001. He currently lives with his wife and young daughter in the Bronx, and works as a server at a local restaurant.

Although he is employed, Gerardo told the Comptroller’s Office that not being able to obtain a driver’s license has severely limited his access to certain jobs over the years. For instance, he previously applied for a delivery position at a local flower shop, but he was ultimately turned down because he did not have a driver’s license. Not being able to drive, according to Gerardo, has relegated him to taking lower-level jobs and earning less than those who drive.

Furthermore, not being able to drive has made it much more difficult for Gerardo to tend to his daughter’s special educational needs. Despite the fact that his daughter’s school is only a 20-minute drive away from their home, the school bus takes a route that ends up totaling an exhaustive 1.5 hours. Since he cannot legally drive to the school, when he visits, he has often had to endure long and frustrating commutes on a City bus or pay increasingly expensive cab fares.

While he once had to take a huge risk and drive his mother-in-law to the hospital for a medical emergency, Gerardo has always respected and understood the privilege of being able to drive. Consequently, he strongly believes that allowing all New Yorkers to obtain driver’s licenses will not only increase their access to jobs but also help them “feel more at peace whenever they’re behind the wheel.”

Case Study #2

Peter is a 25-year-old DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient who emigrated from South Korea to New York City in 1994.[34] He currently works at a nonprofit focusing on immigrant rights, and resides on Staten Island with his mother and partner.

As a DACA grantee, Peter was able to apply for and obtain a New York State driver’s license in 2013. He has been driving ever since, and he has already experienced the many benefits of possessing a license.

In addition to finding it much easier to travel throughout the five boroughs to reconnect with close friends and colleagues, Peter has also been able to gain access to a wider range of employment opportunities. For instance, when he felt it was time to move on from his previous job and pursue other opportunities, he did not have to limit his search to New York City because he had the option of driving to other states for potential interviews.

As a result, when he was offered an interview for an opportunity in Washington, D.C., he was able to drive there from the City. He ultimately obtained the position and was able to live in D.C. for several months. “Before I had DACA and my driver’s license, I never lived anywhere else,” stated Peter. “It’s an incredibly liberating feeling to know that you can travel anywhere.”

Case Study #3

Omar is an undocumented, 56-year-old man who immigrated to New York City from Senegal in the early 1980s. He is currently unemployed and lives in Harlem.

While Omar may be undocumented, he was once granted temporary legal status and an employment authorization document through a case known as Catholic Social Services, Inc. v. Reno. He first worked as a street vendor when he received his work permit in 2000, but he soon started driving a livery cab in 2002.

He worked as a cab driver until 2009—when the driver’s license that he was able to obtain through his work permit—finally expired. Since he also wasn’t able to renew his work permit after it expired in 2008, he had no choice but to stop driving.

Since he is now undocumented and without a driver’s license, he has been struggling to get by. He’s tried numerous times to land another job, but given that he does not have any papers, he is not legally allowed to work in the United States. However, if New York’s driver’s license policy were reformed, Omar would be able to get behind the wheel once again and make money to support himself here in New York City.

Recommendations

To realize these benefits, the State and City should take the following steps:

  1. New York State should pass legislation granting undocumented immigrants the right to apply for and obtain driver’s licenses.

Albany legislators should pass a bill authorizing the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to issue limited purpose driver’s licenses for which undocumented New Yorkers would be eligible, as a complement to the federal REAL ID licenses already in the planning stages in New York. This two-tier system would allow for New York State to expand eligibility for driver’s licenses, while also complying with federal requirements.

Furthermore, since there is no way to ensure that the data collected by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will not be requested by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the bill should also include key anti-discrimination and confidentiality provisions that maximize protections for undocumented New Yorkers who apply for these licenses.

  1. Once enacted, the City should launch a targeted public awareness campaign throughout the five boroughs in order to educate undocumented immigrants about the program.
  2. The City should collaborate with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to design short, informational workshops that clearly and simply outline the steps that an undocumented New Yorker would need to take in order to apply for this license.
  3. The City should work together with immigrant rights advocates to implement community outreach strategies in neighborhoods with large populations of undocumented immigrants.

Similar to how IDNYC has created pop-up enrollment centers at specific New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments, the City should create more opportunities to interact with undocumented New Yorkers by administering the aforementioned workshops at community centers, New York City public schools, religious centers, and public hospitals.[35]

  1. Lastly, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) and the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) should work together to ensure that the necessary translation and over-the-phone interpretation services can be provided throughout the duration of this campaign.

As has been done with other major initiatives such as the paid sick leave and transit benefits laws, doing so would help educate the public about the changes in the law and ensure that as many of our City’s residents are able to benefit as possible.

Conclusion

Congress’s failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship has relegated millions of undocumented immigrants to fearfully living in the shadows of our society. While only Congress can ultimately fix this problem, New York can improve the lives of undocumented New Yorkers while at the same time bolstering public safety and lowering insurance premiums for all.

Given the many benefits of loosening restrictive driver’s license policies, taking this pragmatic step would bolster New York City’s reputation as a welcoming home for immigrants, and help ensure the well-being of the tireless immigrants who long formed the backbone of New York City.

Data & Methodology

There are approximately 525,000 undocumented immigrants above age 16 residing in New York City who would be eligible to apply for a driver’s license, according to estimates from the Center for Migration Studies.[36] This represents 7.6% of the adult population in New York City.[37] Among New York City’s documented population age 16 and above, nearly 57% currently have a valid New York State license.[38] Research on other states that have recently started to offer licenses suggests the application rate for the undocumented population will be approximately half of the rate among the documented population.[39] We assume that a similarly reduced rate will apply in New York City which would imply that approximately 28% of age eligible undocumented immigrants may apply for driver’s licenses in New York City. This will correspond to around 150,000 new licensees resulting in approximately $9.6 million in license registration fees to New York State and $1.3 million to MTA.[40] As with other states’ experiences, these revenues would be realized over multiple years.

Obtaining a driver’s license may also lead some undocumented adults to purchase a vehicle. Based on an analysis of microdata from the Center for Migration Studies, the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) estimates that an expansion of driver’s licenses may result in about 56,000 new auto purchases in New York City. FPI finds that households with the presence of at least one undocumented adult have 0.19 vehicles per adult, compared to 0.33 vehicles per adult in households headed by foreign-born individuals who are citizens.[41] To account for differences in car ownership at varying levels of income, the FPI analysis estimates the number of additional vehicles that may be purchased at different income levels if undocumented adults have access to driver’s licenses.  Following the experience of other states, FPI assumes the take-up rate for car ownership will be about half the rate of documented immigrant households.

One-time fees received by New York State for a vehicle purchase include vehicle plate fees ($25 per vehicle) and title certificate fees ($50 per vehicle). The purchase of 56,000 new vehicles would increase one-time fees from vehicle ownership by about $4.2 million to New York State. Additionally, vehicle owners must pay registration fees ($26 or more every two years) to the State, vehicle use taxes ($30 every two years) to the City, and supplemental MTA fees ($50 every two years).  These rates would imply additional annual revenues of $730,000 for New York State, $840,000 for New York City, and $1.4 million for the MTA on an annual basis.

Another source of revenue would be from sales taxes on vehicle sales, vehicle parts sales, and gasoline sales. According to New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Taxable Sales and Purchases Quarterly Data, between March 2015 and February 2016, total taxable sales and purchases in related establishments[42] were $9.7 billion, which brought in $860 million in sales taxes with a tax rate of 8.875%.  Assuming that these expenditures will go up at the same rate as the increase in the number of registered vehicles (an addition of 56,000 vehicles to the current number of 2.1 million vehicles, corresponding to a 2.7% increase), New York City will get around $11.6 million in additional taxes related to auto sales, while New York State will receive $10.3 million and MTA would receive $970,000 annually.

The State also imposes a petroleum business tax and a motor fuel tax on gasoline consumption. Beginning January 1, 2017, the combined tax is 24.2 cents per gallon.[43] As the number of drivers and vehicles increase, gas consumption would also be expected to rise. In fiscal year 2016, the State collected $1.6 billion from these two taxes, with more than 60% dedicated to state highway and bridge infrastructure and the rest dedicated to the MTA and other upstate mass transit operators.[44] An estimated 19% of these statewide revenues can be attributed to New York City drivers, based on the city’s share of registered vehicles. If these revenues increased by 2.7%, in line with the expected increase in registered vehicles, annual state revenues for highway and bridge infrastructure would increase by $5.2 million and revenues for mass transit would increase by $3.1 million.

Acknowledgements

Comptroller Scott M. Stringer extends special thanks to the following individuals for their work in researching and writing this report:

James Ha, Policy Analyst

Selçuk Eren, Senior Economist

Tammy Gamerman, Director of Budget Research

Comptroller Stringer also recognizes the important contributions to this report made by: Alaina Gilligo, First Deputy Comptroller; Aliya Latif, Community Liaison; Anayeli Gomez, Community Liaison; Angela Chen, Senior Website Developer & Graphic Designer; Antonnette Brumlik, Senior Web Administrator; David Saltonstall, Assistant Comptroller for Policy; Elaine Fan, Community Liaison; Jimmy Yan, Special Counsel; Nicole Jacoby, Counsel to the General Counsel; Sascha Owen, Chief of Staff; Traci Oshiro, Digital Media Manager; and Zachary Schechter-Steinberg, Deputy Policy Director.

Comptroller Stringer would also like to acknowledge David Dyssegaard Kallick and Cyierra Roldan from the Fiscal Policy Institute for their insightful feedback and contributions.

Endnotes

[1] https://dmv.ny.gov/statistic/2015licinforce-web.pdf.

[2] http://data.cmsny.org/puma.html.

[3] http://www.citymetric.com/transport/what-largest-metro-system-world-1361; http://gothamist.com/2016/07/12/subway_desert_map.php; http://www.citylab.com/commute/2015/08/where-the-new-york-city-subway-doesnt-go/400538/.

[4] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/juan-escalante/list-of-states-considering-drivers-licenses-for-undocumented-immigrants-grows_b_7155728.html.

[5] http://www.ncsl.org/documents/immig/DL_EnactedTable_July2015.pdf.

[6] https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs.

[7] http://driveca.org/bill-ab60/.

[8] https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB60.

[9] Ibid.

[10] http://www.dmv.org/ca-california/ab-60-drivers-license.php.

[11] http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=957&GAID=11&DocTypeID
=SB&SessionID=84&GA=97
.

[12] www.latinopolicyforum.org/pdfs/tvdl-fact-sheet-draft-may-2013.pdf; https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_tvdl9.pdf.

[13] http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/1993-94/Pdf/Bills/House%20Passed%20Legislature/1444.PL.pdf; http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/idproof.html.

[14] https://cliniclegal.org/resources/state-drivers-license-bills-analysis-new-jerseys-s1696-apr-2014; https://council.legislature.mi.gov/Content/Files/mlrc/DriversLicensesStateIDMichiganImmigrants.pdf; http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/legislature/gop-lawmaker-shifts-stance-on-immigrant-licenses/article_01af6ca3-e46d-5185-82d7-7b3bc8b96abd.html.

[15] http://www.unm.edu/~dgrint/reports/annual/ar2011.pdf (2011); http://tru.unm.edu/Crash-Reports/Annual-Reports/annual-report-2013.pdf (2013).

[16] https://www.nilc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/IL-Comparison-of-States.pdf.

[17] http://www.iii.org/table-archive/20608; http://www.rmiia.org/auto/steering_through_your_auto_policy/Uninsured_Utah.asp.

[18] https://thinkprogress.org/why-undocumented-immigrants-are-terrified-to-report-crimes-and-how-one-city-is-fixing-that-8d64062b115e#.has0sk731.

[19] http://immigrationforum.org/blog/broken-immigration-laws-keep-the-vulnerable-in-danger/; https://thinkprogress.org/why-undocumented-immigrants-are-terrified-to-report-crimes-and-how-one-city-is-fixing-that-8d64062b115e#.4m91ernuq.

[20] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/21/nyregion/illegal-immigrants-children-suffer-study-finds.html?_r=0; https://www.newamerica.org/education-policy/edcentral/undoc-parents/.

[21] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/21/us/illegal-immigrant-parents-pass-a-burden-study-says.html; http://wamu.org/programs/metro_connection/12/03/02/immigrants_cope_with_the_stress
_of_long_hours_low_pay
.

[22] http://www.sedl.org/connections/resources/evidence.pdf.

[23] Ibid.

[24] http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/04/nyregion/surge-in-ridership-pushes-new-york-subway-to-limit.html; http://www.wsj.com/articles/new-yorks-subway-system-cant-keep-pace-with-growing-number-of-riders-1458762858; http://web.mta.info/service/.

[25] http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/24/business/dealbook/banks-reject-new-york-city-ids-leaving-unbanked-on-sidelines.html; https://voicesofny.org/2016/05/will-more-big-banks-honor-idnyc/.

[26] http://www.itep.org/pdf/immigration2016.pdf.

[27] http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/us/10license.html.

[28] https://nycfuture.org/pdf/Behind_the_Curb.pdf.

[29] http://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/uninsured-motorists; http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/02/20/Why-Uninsured-Drivers-Cost-Us-Over-26-Billion-Year.

[30] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/soej.12022/epdf.

[31] http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0400-news/0100-press-releases/2016/release133-16.cfm.

[32] http://www.illinoistrafficlaws.us/2012/11/22/new-law-allows-illegal-immigrants-to-get-drivers-licenses-in-illinois-approval-pending/.

[33] http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/03/5-facts-about-illegal-immigration-in-the-u-s/.

[34] https://www.dhs.gov/deferred-action-childhood-arrivals.

[35] https://www1.nyc.gov/site/nycha/about/press/pr-2016/NYCHA-Announce-New-Partnership-To-Expand-Benefits-To-Housing-Residents.20160802.page.

[36] http://data.cmsny.org/puma.html

[37] There are 6.9 million people above age 16 living in New York City according to Census 2015.

[38] There are 3.6 million New York City residents with a valid New York State driver’s license. (https://dmv.ny.gov/statistic/2015licinforce-web.pdf) Given that the undocumented population is not eligible for a license currently, we calculate that approximately 57% (=3.6 million/(6.9 million-525 thousand)) of eligible New York City residents have a driver’s license.

[39] Based on actual application data in California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Nevada and Connecticut, compared to the total share of adults with driver’s licenses as reported by the Federal Highway Administration, https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics/2014/dl1c.cfm. See also, https://www.propublica.org/article/could-programs-to-help-undocumented-immigrants-drivers-licenses-backfire and https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/newsrel/newsrel16/2016_01.

[40] Based on class D driver license fee (including the MTA fee) which is currently $73.25 for applicants 21 and older. Note that fees are higher for other class types and younger applicants. https://dmv.ny.gov/driver-license/fees-refunds

[41] Fiscal Policy Institute analysis of Center for Migration Studies microdata.

[42] Related establishments include Automobile Dealers; Automotive Parts, Accessories, and Tire Stores; Automotive Repair and Maintenance; Gasoline Stations; Motor Vehicle and Motor Vehicle Parts and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers; and Other Motor Vehicle Dealers. https://data.ny.gov/Government-Finance/Taxable-Sales-And-Purchases-Quarterly-Data-Beginni/ny73-2j3u.

[43] The Motor Fuel Tax is 8 cents per gallon and the Petroleum Business Tax (PBT) is 16.2 cents per gallon. The PBT rate is adjusted annually corresponding to changes in fuel prices,

https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/publications/multi/pub908.pdf.

[44] New York State Comptroller Annual Report to the Legislature on State Funds Cash Basis of Accounting, Fiscal Year Ended March 31, 2016, https://www.osc.state.ny.us/finance/cashrpt/annual2016.pdf.