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Massachusetts RMV holds hearing on regulations for undocumented immigrants to get driver's licenses

Demonstrators display a banner and chant slogans during a rally in front of the Massachusetts Statehouse on June 9, 2022, held in support of allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses in Massachusetts.
Steven Senne
/
AP
Demonstrators display a banner and chant slogans during a rally in front of the Massachusetts Statehouse on June 9, 2022, held in support of allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses in Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles held a hearing Friday on proposed regulations that would help undocumented immigrants in the state get driver's licenses.

Last May, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a bill allowing immigrants without proof of legal presence to get licenses, and overrode a veto by Gov. Charlie Baker.

In November, the legislation also asurvived a ballot question attempting to overturn it.

State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier of Pittsfield co-sponsored the House version of the bill.

During an online hearing, she took issue with a provision that would require applicants to provide at least two documents proving their identity.

"(RMV) employees could ask for three or more documents and deny applications because of it," she said. "The opportunity to ask for additional documents can allow for racial biases to seep through when asking license applicants for their documents."

Others who spoke during the hearing raised concerns about a provision requiring the registry to maintain copies of documents provided by applicants for fraud prevention.

The new law is scheduled to take effect next July.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.