Colo. prepares to issue licenses to non-US citizens without legal papers

Photo: Fort Collins driver's license office
The Fort Collins driver's license office.

The state is ready to start the driver’s license process for the nearly 10,000 non-US citizens who have signed up to get a Colorado license, but don't have legal immigration status.

Friday is the first day the Division of Motor Vehicles will start taking applications at five offices around the state, Denver, Aurora, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction.

The DMV set up appointments for about 150 applicants that first day.

Department of Revenue Director Barbara Brohl says they’ve tried to make it a one-stop process.

"They can come in, the will have their documents validated," Brohl said. "They will be able to get their written test. They will also be able to get their driving test done at that same appointment. So if they come in prepared, they can walk out with a driver’s license."

Applicants have to bring state tax records, proof of identity and documents from their home country to be eligible for a Colorado driver’s license.

Although thousands of people have applied for licenses, Brohl says state is waiting to see whether interest stays high.

"Right now we don’t know really what the demand is," she said. "We have a lot of appointments that have been scheduled. But we don’t know if this is pent-up demand or if this is something that’s going to be sustainable throughout the year."

The law passed last year required the program pay for itself through the fees paid by the people who receive the new licenses.

They’ll pay just over $50, more than twice the fee for regular Colorado driver’s licenses.