Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law Thursday, allowing illegal immigrants living in California to get their driver's licenses.
State officials say it's important to get immigrants properly trained on the roadways so they can abide by the traffic laws in California.
"They have been driving anyway, and it was not legal for them to have insurance, and there was a big problem with people getting into accidents, not having insurance," said Bakersfield driver Arthur Thamayo.
State insurance authorities estimate about 15-percent of vehicles are uninsured, and a significant number of them are operated by immigrants that were previously unable to get a license.
"Legally we're all supposed to have insurance, to have a license. And if they have the right to drive, they should have the same rights, as far as getting insurance," said Max Mechaley of Bakersfield.
State officials estimate about 1.4 million drivers will apply for licenses under the new bill. It's still not clear which local government offices will accept the license as a form of identification.
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