Immigrant driver’s license deal proceeds with caution at Capitol

March 18, 2015

A Colorado program that lets immigrants get driver's licenses regardless of their legal status will be operational in three locations around the state instead of one under a deal struck by lawmakers.

The compromise established Wednesday gives the state Department of Revenue access to $66,000 in fees from immigrant applicants, instead of the $166,000 they initially requested. The department argued the additional money was needed to keep up with high demand for the licenses.

Democrats and Republicans gridlocked on whether to approve $166,000 and that prompted the department to reduce offices participating in the program from five to one located in Denver. 

The agreement still needs to be approved by each chamber. Democrats passed the program in 2013 when they controlled both chambers of the statehouse. Every Republican lawmaker opposed the program then.