Spitzer sees plan exposing group, lowering insurance rates
A new program designed to grant driver's licenses to illegal aliens will actually lower the amount
Allowing illegal aliens access to a driver's license bucks the national trend. Forty-two states do not grant licenses to illegals, citing the need to curb identity theft and to increase airport security.
New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat, is touting the policy change as a way of bringing a hidden population into the open.
The governor has run into trouble in the state Senate, which voted last week to reject the plan, saying it places state security in jeopardy. But Mr. Spitzer's office says it does not need approval from the state Legislature to proceed.
On Saturday, Mr. Spitzer made a deal with the Bush administration that would allow
The state agency overseeing auto insurance estimates that 600,000 uninsured vehicles are on the road in
"We've assumed they won't get insurance at the same rate as current drivers do, but the program will still drive down the number of uninsured motorists out there," said Hampton Finer, deputy superintendent for rates and competition at the New York State Insurance Department.
New Yorkers pay some of the highest insurance premiums in the country, so they might not notice any difference in their bills, said Mike Barry, spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute. The typical
Dick Luedke, a spokesman for State Farm Insurance, said the premiums his company charges New Yorkers will not change one way or the other until the effect of the program is known. One thing is for sure, according to Mr. Luedke: The program is likely to increase the number of insured drivers.
"There are a lot people out there right now driving who cannot get a driver's license and therefore can't get auto insurance," he said. "Now they can get both."
In Maryland, where illegal aliens have been allowed to obtain driver's license permits since 2003, state officials say they cannot determine whether the cost of auto insurance has swayed one way or the other.
"An unlicensed driver may not own a motor vehicle and thus would not have a reason to purchase motor vehicle liability insurance," said Karen Barrow, spokeswoman for the Maryland Insurance Administration. "Persons who do own motor vehicles may fail to purchase the required liability insurance for numerous personal and financial reasons," she explained.
"While decreasing the number of uninsured motorists would result in decreasing the cost of motor vehicle liability insurance in
Most states require driver's license applicants to show two or three forms of identification, but eight states including
Mr. Spitzer's decision to proceed with his insurance plan could hit a big pothole in a few years when a new federal ID program goes into effect.
Under the Real ID legislation, passed in 2005, ID cards will be required for people to obtain a driver's license. The system will be phased in beginning in December 2009.
To get a new approved license, or make an old one conform to the new requirements, motorists will have to produce several types of documentation to prove their name, date of birth and that they are lawfully in the
"In order for
By : Gregory Lopes