DENVER (CBS4) – Getting a driver’s license may be a relatively simple task for most, but for Marissa Molina it wasn’t easy. She and her family are immigrants from Mexico.

Marissa Molina (credit: CBS)

“I remember my first day of driving school crying because I was so afraid to be behind the wheel of a car,” she said.

When they moved to Glenwood Springs nearly 20 years ago, Marissa’s parents couldn’t get a driver’s license.

“My parents would think very strategically how often and where we drove,” Marissa explained. “It was dangerous to driver without a license. There were real and serious consequences.”

(credit: Molina family)

Colorado began issuing special driver’s licenses to immigrants in 2014, but only three DMV locations in the entire state are devoted to that purpose. For immigrants working in rural communities, it was next to impossible to get an appointment – often times the wait was months long – let alone drive there.

(credit: CBS)

Yet with Gov. Jared Polis’ signature on SB139, driver’s licenses will be made available to all state residents, regardless of their immigration status, at 10 DMV offices by July 2020.

“It’s life changing,” Marissa told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann.

Marissa and her parents already have their own special driver’s licenses. She believes the new law will change the lives of many immigrant families across Colorado, just like it did hers.

(credit: CBS)

“Now that people are able to access driver’s license, they’re able to contribute back to their local economies because they can go to work and get there safely,” Marissa said.

Eleven other states, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, have all passed laws that allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.

Kelly Werthmann

  1. You keep using the word immigrants. Marrisa’s parents were probably illegal immigrants, and thus could not obtain drivers licenses. Which is as it should be, because they should not be here in the first place. Legal immigrants, I suspect, have no trouble obtaining a drivers license, assuming they learn English and how to drive.

    You purposely merge legal and illegal immigrants together to push your agenda and create sympathy. Shameful.

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