Would CA Driver Licenses to Illegal Aliens be Valid in Another State?
by P.A. Madison on January 29th, 2007
Q: Gil Cedillo, a California legislator has introduced a bill to authorize the issue of driver’s licenses not compliant with the federal Real ID Act. They are intended for illegal aliens.
My question is will other states be required to accept these as valid under the Full Faith and Credit clause, since they are meant to subvert the intent of federal law?
A: If Calif. issues only special temporary licenses to illegal aliens to operate on Calif. highways only, then no. If Calif. issues full fledge driver licenses contrary to the provisions of the Real ID Act, the answer would be no under Article IV, Sec. 2. Driver licenses are a privilege that only citizens are entitled to enjoy in another State as long as laws of the host State do not interfere.
Example, say under a new Texas statewide law that allows one to publicly eat in any restaurant naked – would not give you any rights to walk into any other restaurant in another State nude, and especially where there might be strict indecent exposure laws. Therefore, if a State passes a law that says only drivers with federally approved licenses may operate upon State highways, then California drivers beware.
I would like to add that I have real constitutional issues with the Real ID Act, but this can wait for another time.