Republican driver’s license proposal passes key committee

From Senator Bruce Starr:

Salem, OR — A proposal Republicans have been championing since the 2007 session to require stricter documentation in order to obtain an Oregon driver’s license passed out of the Senate Transportation Committee Tuesday. SB 1080 now moves to the Joint Ways and Means Committee.

“Last session I fought to make Oregon driver’s licenses the gold standard of identification,” said Senator Bruce Starr (R-Hillsboro). “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 our proposal.”
The concept found in SB 1080 was originally introduced by Starr as a floor amendment to SB 424 last session. Starr successfully amended the bill on the Senate floor, but a vote along party lines sent the bill to the budget writing committee to die. Further attempts by Republicans to pass the bill were met with Democrat opposition.

Both SB 1080 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.

“This bill is a common sense step towards keeping our communities safe and secure, and I hope it is passed without much more delay,” 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.