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News: 2013 Press Release

For Release: October 3, 2013
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner thanks governor for signing driver license bill
Measure will improve safety on California roads and decrease uninsured motorist numbers

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today thanked Governor Brown for signing into law Assembly Bill 60 (Alejo), which will allow all Californians to apply for and receive a driver license if they are able to show appropriate identification and receive proper training and education. Commissioner Jones issued the following statement:

"Assembly Bill 60 will improve safety on our roads by allowing all properly trained and tested individuals, regardless of their immigration status, to qualify for a California's drivers' license. Over a million newly eligible drivers will now get tested in order to get a license, ensuring that they know the rules of the road. We know that properly trained drivers who know California's rules of the road are safer drivers and involved in fewer collisions. This makes driving safer for all of us.

Allowing these drivers -- who are already on our roads without a license and without any testing -- to get a license will also increase the likelihood that they will get auto insurance, which they are separately required to do. Many who are not able to get a license now also decide to forgo auto insurance because they figure why bother since they are already driving illegally. Bringing these people out of the shadows and allowing them to apply for a license increases the likelihood they will also get insurance.

Fewer drivers operating without insurance and lower accident rates could lead to auto insurance savings for all consumers.

Having supported this important reform for years now, first as an Assemblymember and now as Insurance Commissioner, I applaud the Legislature and Governor Brown for making our roads safer for all Californians by enacting AB 60."

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Media Notes:

  • The California Department of Motor Vehicles estimates there are likely more than two million unlicensed drivers on California roads. They also estimate that 1.4 million individuals will become licensed pursuant to AB 60. The insurance industry estimates approximately 15 percent of all drivers are uninsured. A significant number of these uninsured vehicles are operated by those without legal immigration status, as prior to AB 60 the undocumented were prohibited from obtaining a drivers' license. AB 60 will take effect no later than January 1, 2015.
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The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2013 the California Department of Insurance received more than 170,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $63 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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