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Driving Towards Inclusion: MA Driver’s Licenses Now Available Regardless of Immigration Status

In a significant stride towards inclusivity and equal access, Massachusetts has enacted the Work and Family Mobility Act (WFMA), empowering eligible residents to apply for a standard driver's license regardless of their immigration status. Starting July 1, Massachusetts residents will be able to obtain a Class D or M driver's license without needing to provide proof of immigration status. The Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) has committed to supporting new customers under the WFMA by providing road test materials in multiple languages, translation services, and additional staff. Their goal is to ensure that peoples’ first experience with the RMV is a successful one, allowing applicants to navigate the process with ease and confidence. “Our roads will be safer, and our residents will be able to get where they need to go,” Governor Maura Healy tweeted.

Effective collaboration between the RMV and immigration advocacy groups has been crucial to the implementation of the WFMA. By actively seeking feedback and keeping immigrants in the conversation, the RMV has developed informative resources to guide new customers through the application process. An informational website (Mass.Gov/WFMA) has been created to provide details on identification requirements and to outline the necessary steps for obtaining a driver's license. Additionally, a dedicated informational phone line in multiple languages has been set up to provide assistance and support to applicants.

Massachusetts expects to receive over 100,000 applications for drivers licenses in the next six months as a result of the WFMA. As a result, the RMV will increase staffing at call centers and customer service centers as well as expanding hours of operation. Additionally, the number of road test examiners will be doubled, temporary road test sites will be established, and operational hours for road tests will be extended at various locations.

For eligible residents preparing to apply for a driver's license, the RMV provides valuable tips to ensure a successful application process. It is important to make appointments in advance, as walk-ins will not be available. Gathering the necessary documents, such as proof of identity, date of birth, and Massachusetts residency, is also essential.

The WFMA not only benefits individual residents but also promotes road safety and responsible driving practices. Licensed drivers are more likely to have a better understanding of traffic rules, undergo necessary training, and obtain insurance coverage, contributing to safer roads for everyone. By removing the requirement for proof of immigration status, Massachusetts has opened doors to a host of opportunities for eligible residents. The RMV's efforts to enhance support services and streamline the application process demonstrate a commitment to creating a more inclusive and welcoming environment. This legislation also recognizes the valuable contributions of immigrant communities to the state's economy and social fabric, fostering a sense of belonging and inclusion. It is a step forward in building a more equitable and welcoming society for all residents of Massachusetts. With these changes, Massachusetts is set to embrace a future where all residents can succeed and contribute to their community, irrespective of their immigration status.

For information on how to apply for a driver’s license under WFMA, visit Mass.Gov/myRMV and Mass.Gov/WFMA.

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