AB 60: California Driver’s License Program

What is AB 60?

Starting January 1st, 2015, AB 60 allows any California resident, regardless of immigration status, to get a drivers license so long as they are eligible. You do not need to prove legal residency, and you do not need a social security number.

To apply for AB 60 and other drivers license related documents, visit the California DMV's website: http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/ab60/index.html.

If you have additional questions, please read the frequently asked questions below, contact us, or reach out to the Drive CA/Maneja CA Coalition

Also, if you qualify for AB 60, you may qualify for Deferred Action. Deferred Action provides qualified individuals with a work permit, protection from deportation, and a social security number. Click here to learn more about Deferred Action and get help applying

Note: you do not need to pay anyone for AB 60 information or services. In fact, it is against the law for someone to charge you to fill out the AB 60 application form on your behalf. It is a simple form and you, a friend or a relative can fill it out. No one can speed up the process for you. Be wary of scams and rely on the DMV and trusted community organizations for information and assistance. This page contains general information and is not legal advice. Every case is different.

General information
Applying for AB 60
Safety & privacy information
Specific circumstances
I have a question that isn't answered here...
General information
  • When will AB 60 licenses be available?

    AB 60 driver’s licenses became available on January 1st, 2015, and are available now.

  • How much does the AB 60 license cost?

    The AB 60 license costs the same as other driver’s licenses. To view the California DMV's current fee information, visit: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/fees/driverlicense_fees.htm.

  • What type of license can I get through AB 60? Can I also drive a truck or motorcycle with AB 60?

    AB 60 allows you to apply for all non-commercial driver’s licenses offered through the DMV. This includes Class C (most cars), Class M1/M2 (motorcycles), Noncommercial Class A or B (travel trailers, some RVs).

  • How can I use my AB 60 license?

    You can use an AB 60 license to drive, for state ID purposes, and to identify yourself to California police officers, e.g. in a traffic stop. Driver’s licenses do not give you a right to vote and do not make you eligible for any benefits that you were not eligible for without the license. An AB 60 license is not a federal ID and cannot be used for certain federal purposes, such as entering restricted parts of federal buildings. A driver’s license does not give you the right to work as an employee. However, if in the future you are granted a status that allows you to work, you will be able to use the driver’s license as proof of identity along with a valid work authorization document, when you complete the I-9 form.

  • Can I use an AB 60 license to board an airplane?

    We recommend NOT using an AB 60 license to board an airplane. There are two risks. First, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is a federal agency and might not accept it. The TSA has been inconsistent regarding the acceptance of AB 60 licenses (or similar licenses from other states). Second, and more importantly, TSA officials could use the license as a basis to stop someone, question that person, and ultimately refer the person to Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). AB 60 does not protect against discrimination by TSA officials, and the concern is that TSA agents may use an AB 60 license to flag people and refer them to ICE. If a person needs to fly, she should use other identity documents, such as an unexpired passport, and be aware that TSA engages in immigration enforcement.

Applying for AB 60
  • Is the written test only offered in English?

    No, the written test is offered in a number of different languages. Additionally, the test can be administered in an audio format, or in an interview with a DMV examiner, by request.

  • Can I use an interpreter for the driving road test?

    No, interpreters are not permitted for the driving test. You will need to be able to respond to driving instructions given in English, including pointing to safety features of your vehicle and performing the requiring driving maneuvers. DMV examiners have experience administering tests to applicants with limited English proficiency, and will also use hands signals and gestures to the extent that is safe. However, you should practice responding to driving instructions in English to pass this test.

  • What documents do I need to show to get an AB 60 license?

    Every applicant will need documents to prove 1) his or her identity and 2) residency in the State of California. The Mexican Consular ID from 2006 and 2014 and the Mexican passport from 2008 or later will be accepted as identification. For those who do not have other forms of identification, the DMV will accept documents related to a child or other family member, along with proof of the relationship.

    If your documents have expired, you should visit your consulate to renew them as this process can take some time. Visit https://apps.dmv.ca.gov/ab60/doc_req_matrix.pdf for the full list of documents accepted.

Safety & privacy information
  • Will information I provide to the DMV be confidential?

    The documents you provide to the DMV to prove your identity, name, residency, and age are not a public record and the DMV may not disclose this information, except when requested by a law enforcement agency (such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE) as part of an investigation.

  • Can the DMV find out about any prior driver’s license applications?

    The DMV has records of prior driver’s licenses and applications. The DMV will ask you for fingerprints and compare your fingerprints and other biographical information against its database to see if it has already received an application from you. You should assume that if you applied for a driver’s license in the past, the DMV knows about it.

  • Is there any risk of using an AB 60 license with law enforcement?

    California's AB 60 law specifies that it shall be a violation of law, including, but not limited to, a violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, to discriminate against an individual who holds or presents an AB 60 driver’s license. State or local government agencies, officials, or programs that receive state funds are prohibited from discriminating against someone because he or she holds or presents an AB 60 license. State and local law enforcement agents are specifically prohibited from using AB 60 licenses “to consider an individual’s citizenship or immigration status as a basis for investigation, arrest, citation or detention.” This means that you can use your AB 60 license to identify yourself to California police officers if you get pulled over in a traffic stop.

    But the law does not protect against discrimination from federal law enforcement or law enforcement from other states. Because of this, do not present an AB 60 license to federal officials, such as Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs & Border Protection (CBP), or Transportation Security Administration (TSA), or to law enforcement in another state.

    To monitor potential discrimination, California's AB 60 law requires the California Research Bureau to compile and submit a report to the Legislature and the Governor about any incidents of discrimination perpetrated on holders of marked licenses.

  • What will my license look like?

    The front of the AB 60 license will state “FEDERAL LIMITS APPLY” in the top right corner above the Class designation, in the same color and front as other words. The license will otherwise look similar to those currently issued California drivers’ licenses.

Specific circumstances
  • Will I still qualify for an AB 60 license if I have a prior order of deportation or other prior immigration violations?

    Your immigration history is not a factor in whether you can qualify for an AB 60 license. However, the DMV will share your name, address, and photograph with law enforcement if you are under investigation. This means that if Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) is already looking for you, and asks DMV for information about you, it could be risky to apply for a license. Most people that fit in this category will be people who have criminal records or recent orders of deportation.

  • I previously applied for and got a driver’s license in California using a fake name / fake social security number / information that wasn't mine. Will this affect my ability to apply for an AB 60 license or place me at risk if I apply?

    The concern for anyone who used fake information in a prior driver’s license application to the DMV is that the DMV could refer the person to criminal prosecution for fraud. BUT the DMV’s current policy is not to refer anyone to criminal prosecution who previously applied for a license using false information so long as the false information did not cause any harm. If the DMV believes that the false information caused any kind of harm, including bodily harm, financial harm, harm to property, identity theft, or avoiding child support payments, the DMV may refer that person to criminal prosecution.

    Under the DMV’s current policy, someone who has used a made-up social security number solely to apply for a driver’s license in the past should be okay. Many people in this situation have successfully gotten driver’s licenses under AB 60. But please note that the DMV’s policy on this issue is not in writing. All people who have used fake information in the past must be aware that there is no guarantee as to how the DMV will handle their case.

  • If I applied for a driver’s license in California using someone else’s social security number, will I be at risk if I apply for an AB 60 license?

    The DMV’s current practice is not to refer people who have used false information to obtain a driver’s license for criminal prosecution unless that false information caused harm to others. But it’s important to remember that there are no guarantees, and that we’re still learning what the DMV considers as “harm.”

    People who used fake information belonging to someone else to apply for a driver’s license in the past may be at higher risk than people who have used made-up fake information. This is because if someone used information belonging to someone else (versus information that is made up), there’s more of a chance that the DMV could think that the person was using the false information to harm others (such as for identity theft), especially if the person used the driver’s license to open a bank account or for other activities that could be seen as for financial gain. If a person used someone else’s information to apply for a driver’s license in the past, the person should be prepared to answer questions about what fake information she used, why, and what she then did with the driver’s license.

  • I obtained a license from another state but never lived there. Will this affect my ability to apply for an AB 60 license or place me at risk if I apply?

    It depends. If you applied for a driver’s license in a state that does not require a social security number and used only correct information, there should not be any problem in applying for an AB 60 license. We do not expect that the California DMV will check other states’ residency requirements to determine whether you lived in that state for the requisite period of time (or at all). Many people apply for licenses in California who have had valid licenses in other states. A person who lives in California is supposed to have a California driver’s license, so we recommend applying for an AB 60 license if you have had a valid license, based only on correct information, from another state. A person cannot have more than one valid license at any given time, so if the license from the other state is still valid, you will need to bring it with you to transfer the license to California.

    If you applied for a driver’s license in another state by using any false information, such as a fake name, social security number, or anything else that might have flagged you as a security concern in that state, there is a chance that the California DMV might find out about it and investigate it as fraud. We know that the California DMV takes fraud cases very seriously, so we suggest waiting to apply in this situation until we know much more. Advocacy groups are still trying to gain more information from the California DMV about their information-sharing protocols with DMV offices from other states.

  • Can I apply for my driver’s license if I had a DUI, spent time in jail, or was deported? Will this affect my ability to apply for an AB 60 license or place me at risk if I apply?

    This will depend on the individual circumstances of the case. Anyone with a criminal history or a prior deportation order should consult with a lawyer or contact us before applying for an AB 60 license. There are three different things to watch out for:

    1. First, was the person deported because of being undocumented? Or were there any other criminal convictions or issues that placed the person in removal proceedings? If the person had other criminal convictions, it might be risky for this person to apply for a driver's license. We would need to know what the convictions were and when they happened to be able to give more information.
    2. Second, the minimum penalties for a first-time DUI in California include a fine and attendance of an alcohol-treatment program. Has the person completed their requirements (i.e. paid the fine and completed the treatment program)? If not, they should contact their public defender’s office to figure out what they need to do to comply. They will not be able to get a license until they complete these requirements.
    3. Third, when was the person deported? If it was a recent deportation, we suggest waiting to apply because it might be risky for the person to apply for a license now.
  • I previously had a DUI, and I did not comply with the requirements of my sentence (e.g. paying the fine or completing the treatment program). Will this affect my ability to apply for an AB 60 license or place me at risk if I apply?

    You will not be able to apply for a license until you comply with the requirements. The most important thing is to comply with the penalties for the DUI and to make sure that you do NOT drink and drive again. The criminal penalties get worse with each additional DUI, you will have to wait even longer to get a driver's license, and you could be placed in removal proceedings. If you have already done everything that the court ordered you to do (paid the fine, completed the program, etc.) and it is past the time that the court ordered you not to drive, you are eligible to apply for a license.

    Please note that the Obama administration recently changed its enforcement priorities to include people with DUIs. The California DMV will not proactively share information with Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). But if ICE is already looking for you, applying for an AB 60 license could place you at greater risk. Please consult with an immigration lawyer before applying or contact us.

  • I was deported a long time ago and came right back. Will this affect my ability to apply for an AB 60 license or place me at risk if I apply?

    Your immigration history is not a factor in determining your eligibility for an AB 60 license. However, if you have any criminal convictions (aside from minor offenses such as driving without a license), it might be risky to apply for a driver’s license. The DMV will share your name, address, and photograph with law enforcement if you are under investigation. This means that if Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) is already looking for you and asks the DMV for information about you, then the DMV will provide it.

  • I have a deportation order, but I did not leave. Will this affect my ability to apply for an AB 60 license or place me at risk if I apply?

    People with deportation orders, especially recent ones, may be at risk if they apply for an AB 60 license. The California DMV will not proactively share information with Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). But if ICE is already looking for you, applying for an AB 60 license could place you at greater risk. Please consult with an immigration lawyer before applying or contact us.

I want to apply for AB 60 but I'm still worried and have questions

If you want to apply for AB 60 but you still have questions, contact us or reach out to the Drive CA/Maneja CA Coalition

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