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Bill to Grant Driver’s Licenses to Undocumented Immigrants Awaits Senate Floor Debate

By • March 13, 2023

A bill to grant driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants in Idaho has passed through committee with no recommendation and is awaiting a debate on the Senate floor.

The Senate Transportation Committee held a public hearing on Senate Bill 1081, sponsored by Senator Jim Guthrie (R-District 28). The bill would allow anyone 16 years of age or older in Idaho to apply for a driver’s license if they can provide proof of identity with a passport, birth certificate, consular identification, or ID issued by another country. The person would have to prove they live in Idaho and also successfully pass both the written and driving skills tests.

In the Statement of Purpose, Guthrie said,

“This bill will improve Idaho’s road safety, ensure more drivers on Idaho roads are covered by insurance, enhance driver education and training for all Idahoans, improve safety of law enforcement officers, reduce the severity and extent of motor vehicle collisions, and generate additional state revenue for Idaho Transportation Department programs. The Restricted Driver’s License would be limited to driving purposes only, it would have a distinguishable appearance, and conspicuous words of limitation to ensure the card is not used for voting, to purchase firearms, or to exercise any other rights or privileges reserved to citizens.”


Many individuals testified on the bill.

Alex LaBeau, President of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, told the committee,

“What we are fundamentally talking about are human beings. These human beings work in the state of Idaho. They provide hundreds of millions of dollars in productivity to the state. They provide taxes, yes they pay taxes, they pay social security, they pay medicaid. All of those things happen in the state of Idaho. All we are talking about is trying to improve the safety on our roads and give employers the opportunity to reduce their overall costs by insuring these employees to allow them to use our vehicles. This is good for Idaho.”

Director of the Idaho Sheriff’s Association Jeff Lavey who represents all 44 Sheriffs in the state of Idaho spoke strongly in opposition to the legislation, and fielded several questions from the committee. He told the Senators the Sheriffs had voted unanimously to oppose the bill, and they asked that the bill be held in the committee and not allowed to advance. Lavey said,

“There is already a process in place where anyone in our country legally on a work visa can obtain a valid Idaho driver’s license through the sheriff ‘s office.”

Also speaking in opposition to the bill was Fred Birnbaum of the Idaho Freedom Foundation.

After 90 minutes of testimony and discussion, Senator Rick Just (D-District 15) made a motion to send the bill to the floor with a do-pass recommendation. The motion was seconded by Senator Ali Rabe. Vice Chair of the Committee, Senator Lori Den Hartog then made a substitute motion to send the bill to the floor without a committee recommendation. She commented on her motion saying,

“This is a difficult and important issue…. I know it’s a unique motion… We don’t normally send out something without a recommendation and sometimes that feels like an abdication of our responsibility as committee members. In this I think we might need the wisdom of the whole body…”

There was then an amended substitute motion made by Senator Chris Trakel (R-District 11) to instead hold the bill in committee. The amended substitute motion was seconded by Senator Phil Hart (R-District 2).

The vote on the amended substitute motion was a tie, which is deemed a failed motion. The vote on the substitute motion by Den Hartog (sending the bill to the floor with no committee recommendation) found a majority in favor and passed.

Senate Bill 1081 was filed for its third reading on March 2 and has been retained on the Senate calendar awaiting its floor debate. It remains to be seen what the Senate will do with the legislation.


Photo courtesy of Idaho Legislature website.

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Tags: Ali Rabe, Chris Trakel, Driver's Licenses, Illegal Aliens, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Jim Guthrie, Lori Den Hartog, Phil Hart, Rick Just, Senate Bill 1081, Senate Transportation Committee, Undocumented Workers

33 thoughts on “Bill to Grant Driver’s Licenses to Undocumented Immigrants Awaits Senate Floor Debate

  1. First step towards them voting.

    Why are we helping anyone here illegally?

    Pay taxes … sure, sales taxes. Anything else? I doubt it. They aren’t going to be beating down anyone’s door to get a license so they can take driver’s training. They want licenses so they can vote.

  2. Seems like the majority of the Senate Transportation Committee is controlled by big business interests with No/Zero regard for our Constitution???

    Who cares about The Idaho Citizen, The People? Certainly not these committee members, vote them out!

    Probably should check and verify their correspondence on this matter with Idaho’s Little Blue Governor and Despot Bedke.

  3. This is disgusting! In no way, shape or form should illegals have driver’s licenses. I’m so sick and tired of paying for people who aren’t here legally. They aren’t “undocumented “ they are illegal. Period. Idaho has sold out to these moronic developers and big businesses thanks to moron like these people who vote for idiotic ideas like this smh

    1. Exactly! I agree with you and Jim J’s comment below is mine as well, “I don’t understand what law makers do not get about “Illegal”. These people should be rounded up and deported back to where they came from. Stop putting a burden on the tax payer and Idaho residents…”
      Ali Rabe is simply another McLean, Sanchez woke nut that wants to turn us into a left-coast rathole!

  4. Representatives work for illegal immigrants instead of deporting them; no way. I will not renew a drivers license if issued to illegals. Lets give away START cards as well, REALID is another traitorous act of our supposed representatives. Idaho is going off the rails to even get this through committee. Not voting to re-elect any of them.

  5. I don’t understand what law makers do not get about “Illegal”. These people should be rounded up and deported back to where they came from. Stop putting a burden on the tax payer and Idaho residents. Sounds like some lawmakers need to resign their seats and go into retirement. Guthrie has also shut his email down for anyone to send messages to him.

  6. I don’t think Idaho should be supporting illegals I think we should be deporting them back to they came from as a tax payer I shouldn’t have to pay for this it’s not my responsibility to help illegals I vote NO onSB 1081

  7. While many of us who read the Idaho Dispatch didn’t vote these left-leaning politicians in, Idahoans as a whole did, this is an obvious fact, otherwise we’d have some real conservative policies being voted into law, not this kind of asinine crap.

    Why we cannot get the majority of Idahoans to vote-in conservative-valued politicians is beyond me! Are we, the conservative population here in Idaho, really the minority here? It surely wasn’t this way 10, 20, 50 years ago, so what changed?

    It really makes me wonder just how many of those holding offices across this state that have come from other states such as California, Oregon, Illinois and the like. And if they aren’t from these leftist states, then what is their fascination in voting on all things liberal? Is it money? The promise of permanency in their positions?

    All I can say is that I’m beyond disgusted with what our politicians seem to think we the people want for our state, and truly believe that they vote on things like this because they are being paid to do so. I just don’t see things changing until it hurts each and every Idahoan directly. The pain we’re feeling right now isn’t enough for us Idahoans to change our votes and get conservative politicians into office.

    1. A lot of the votes have come from the native Idahoans. They have become complacent with the status quo. Little, bedke, Otter are not transplants. Most, not all have seen this in other states and chose Idaho to try and escape the left’s wave. These establishment politicians working with the global IACI are working to bring Idaho in line with the world order.

  8. Thank God for Idaho’s sheriffs and their principled stand. What the legislature should be working on is a bill to put bounties on all illegals. Couple that with asset forfeiture and the illegal problem in Idaho would be solved.

  9. I don’t want illegals to vote in Idaho so I’m against allowing them to be licensed. I believe you should be a citizen of the US in order to vote!

  10. More clear evidence of RINOism in our state. Politicians kowtowing to their big donors…corporations needing cheap labor. “Undocumented” immigrant is euphemistic term for ILLEGAL immigrant…trespasser. We should be expelling illegals from our state…sending them to sanctuary cities and states…or back to their points of origin. We should not be encouraging ILLEGALS by providing drivers’ licenses…next it’ll be free education…free healthcare, etc…all funded by the taxpayers…and they’ll be voting, too. The slippery, death-spiraling slope to socialism. The Transportation Committee passed this anonymously through committee without a vote…no accountability…all of them are saying/claiming, “It wasn’t me…I didn’t vote for it.” This should’ve been stopped in committee…the Education Savings Account legislation was eliminated in committee…should’ve received a full Senate discussion/vote…but this garbage, anti-Idahoan legislation goes to the full senate. Insanity. Idaho’s social and political landscape will mirror Oregon and California in 10-15 years if this type of legislation keeps passing.
    Remember these RINOs. According to “The Official Website of the Idaho Legislature” these are the members of the Transportation Committee:
    Doug Okuniewicz (R) Chair
    Lori Den Hartog(R) Vice Chair
    Chuck Winder (R)
    Phil Hart (R)
    Cindy J. Carlson (R)
    Ben Toews (R)
    Chris T. Tr (R)
    Alison Rabe (D)
    James R. Just (D)

  11. Thank you, Director of the Idaho Sheriff’s Association Jeff Lavey…no more words are needed!
    We are NOT California, New York, Illinois, Oregon, Washington, etc. WE ARE IDAHO. Why do people continue to vote in these RHINO’s?

    1. Idaho has joined all the liberal states by licensing illegals. This will provide them with all the social services they want. Doubt many will be paying taxes by working. Our elected RINO officials are part of the organization of corporate government.

      Undocumented immigrants in the U.S. may obtain a driver’s license in the following places:

      District of Columbia
      New Jersey
      New Mexico
      New York

  12. Wake up folks. WAKE UP. You need look no further than who’s supporting this and who’s opposing it. Yes… the chamber of commerce scum are driving this for cheap labor. They claim “but illegals are working in Idaho right now and paying taxes and blah blah blah”. On the other side? LAW ENFORCEMENT saying DON’T DO THIS!!!

    I moved here from a state that pulled this crap years ago… and within 2 years, elections were destroyed. Budgets were blown out.

    It’s a very simple issue. If you have no right to be here, but you are here… there are two ways to go. Pass new laws like this to ENABLE and ENCOURAGE MORE to come by accommodating them (the Chamber of Commerce approach), or ENFORCE EXISTING LAWS and PASS NEW ONES to BAR THEM FROM OPERATING IN THIS STATE (Law Enforcement and every rational American’s approach). Mandatory eVerify. That’s law. So tell us Commerce idiots… how are they working in this state if the laws are being followed? We’d love to know. So their solution to violation of the law is just change the law so it’s no longer a violation?


  13. Just to be clear… when I moved here from California (very sorry… I get it… but I promise you, I’m reinforcements not invasion), I wasn’t even allowed to present my CA Drivers License as valid photo ID to prove citizenship. I had to use a passport. Why? Because CA is one of the twisted inbred sanctuary shit-holes that gives licenses to illegals, so there’s no way of knowing if you’re legally in the country based purely on your license. AND I APPLAUDED THAT! That’s why I moved here. If Idaho is stupid enough to do this, then there was no point. This isn’t even a difficult question. It’s black and white. Illegals do not belong here. Telling us “they are here… so let’s bend over for them” isn’t the answer one expects from a red state. Do not let it happen.

  14. So Little and the establishment want to give our tax dollars to train/educate eventual employees who will be working for their friends and big donors. Fund higher education so they can continue to indoctrinate in communist theory. Give illegals drivers licenses instead of requiring they do the work to be a legal citizen . On what planet would any of this be considered conservative ?

  15. Virtually 100% of the bullshit pitch they make in selling this is improving safety on the roads and helping law enforcement.

    Law Enforcement’s Response: DO NOT DO THIS!!!!

    Do people really need to see more than this?

  16. Risch was slated to speak at Devos to promote Idaho’s need to have illegal invaders aka cheap big ag workers.

    As for granting DLs to illegals. No No and he!! No.

  17. No I don’t think they should get a driver’s license. First do a background check on every person to see if there eligible to be here. Apply for a visa and no hand outs

  18. So this is how dumb our representatives think we are: illegals, by definition, have broken our laws to get here. As soon as they do, however, they all of a sudden have a law-abiding mindset and will register to get a driver’s license.

    And lo and behold, they also become safety conscious and will go out and take drivers ed training AND purchase the requisite car insurance “to improve Idaho’s road safety.” Puh-leese.

    There are so many things our representatives have to pretend not to know in order to pass this lunacy.

    1. Yes, they are that stupid. They cower for the paid radical liberal activist. They are the “RINOs” that everyone votes for here in Idaho because they are republican.

      Idahoans are just too trusting and naive and they keep voting for the same RINOs.

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