Republican driver’s license proposal considered

Press release from the Senate Republicans:

A Republican proposal from the 2007 session to require stricter documentation in order to obtain an Oregon driver’s license resurfaced Friday in the Senate Transportation Committee as Legislative Counsel draft 32. The concept was originally introduced by Senator Bruce Starr (R-Hillsboro) as an amendment to SB 424 last session. Starr brought the bill to the Senate floor, but it was sent to the budget writing committee on a party line vote to die.
“Last session I fought to make Oregon driver’s licenses the gold standard of identification,” said Starr. “A secure license is essential to fighting ID theft and ending the traffic of meth in our state. I’m glad we are finally moving forward on this.”

Both LC 32 and Starr’s amendment to SB 424 would require the Department of Motor Vehicles to verify both an individual’s social security number and proof of an Oregon residence before issuing a driver’s license. The proposal also says that if a document like a student visa is used to obtain a driver’s license, the license expires when the visa expires.

“We need to make sure the department is crystal clear on the need for valid documentation proving legal presence, but this draft is a great start,” said Starr. “It would have been nice if Oregonians could have counted on secure driver’s licenses last year, but late is better than never.”

Senate and House Republicans have said that driver license security is a top priority on their agenda for the February session. While an executive order from Governor Kulongoski attempted to add new restrictions to driver’s licenses, a recent legal opinion says he overstepped his constitutional limits and that legislative action is required to remedy the situation.