CT delays undocumented immigrant driver’s license program [WFSB]

September 2, 2014

WFSB 3 Connecticut

There is some controversy over the timetable for giving undocumented immigrants driver’s licenses.

Republican lawmakers suggest that, during an election season, the governor is trying to delay implementing the controversial new program, but the Malloy administration said it is just making sure the computer system can handle all of the traffic.

Alberto Guzman and his sister came to New Haven from Mexico and run a bakery. They said they are excited about the state’s new driving only licenses being offered in January.

The program was signed into law by Gov. Dannel Malloy last year and will allow undocumented immigrants to get licenses so that they can drive and get auto insurance.

“That’s why we need it, sometimes if we don’t have licenses we cannot get insurance,” Guzman said.

By state statute, the program cannot begin until Jan. 2, but the Department of Motor Vehicles said it was going to start letting people schedule their exams Sept. 1, but now the date has been pushed back to Dec. 1.

“Someone made the unilateral decision to move this until after the election (in November) which raises questions,” said Republican State Senator Len Fasano, who represents the 34th district.

The Malloy administration said the date push back has nothing to do with the election, and referred inquiries to the DMV, adding that the program will start on time in January but that the delay is the launch of the website.

“We thought it would be a good date originally then we saw the demand for this license,” said DMV Deputy Commissioner Victor Diaz.

He added that there was a concern about the exam scheduling and the website crashing, resulting in the decision to delay.

I would say it’s a convenient excuse to find because clearly the ranking members, which are Republicans on the transportation committee, never received a notice from the commissioner that the system had any errors, glitches or problems,” Fasano added.

Diaz said, “we just wanted to provide good service to the individuals who are going to come and get this license and wanted to be prepared.”

Fasano, and other Republican constituents, said he wrote a letter to the DMV commissioner one week ago asking questions about the delay but hadn’t heard back.