Long Lines at DMV for New Driver Authorization Cards - 8 News NOW

Long Lines at DMV for New Driver Authorization Cards

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LAS VEGAS -- The lines were out the door Thursday at Department of Motor Vehicle offices across the Las Vegas valley as people showed up to apply for the new driver authorization card.

By early afternoon, DMV officials had stopped applications because of wait times and a backlog of people waiting to take the written exam.

Many of the applicants are undocumented immigrants and some have waited years for the day they can legally get behind the wheel.

Thursday was the first day the DMV could start issuing these cards because of legislation passed last year.

For the undocumented immigrants, this new law is about increasing safety and easing fears every time they hit the road.

Hector Miguel, 29, was one of the people sitting and waiting at the DMV for his number to be called.

The single father came to the U.S. from Mexico nine years ago. He has been living here with his family illegally. He has also been driving without a license.

Miguel says he has no choice.

"I need to drive because we need to eat. We need to pay rent, pay bills," he said.

Starting Thursday, Miguel has a choice when it comes to driving with legal permission on Nevada roads.

The DMV has begun issuing driver authorization cards which allows undocumented immigrants to get behind the wheel after showing valid identifications and passing both the written and driving tests.

Nevada State Senator Mo Denis authored the law allowing for the driver authorization cards. He says the card will have many benefits, from arming more people with basic driving skills to potentially lowering insurance rates for every driver in Nevada.

"It is a great day," Denis said. "This will allow people to get history when they buy insurance more beneficial to them."

Maria Rodriguez came to the DMV to get more information about the card for her friends who currently drive illegally.

"It is scary because they worry about the cops, if they are going to give them tickets, and they don't have the money to pay the tickets," Rodriguez said.

For Hector Miguel, the card is the first step to avoid trouble on the road.

"Safety, yeah, I can drive safer now," Miguel said.

Nevada is the 11th state to offer driving privileges to people in the country illegally. Some people who have lined up to get their cards have run into to trouble because they didn't have all the documents they needed. Go to dmvnv.com, to get information on what documents are needed.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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