Press Release - Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz
District Office

404 55th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11220
(718) 492-6334

The Assembly

Room 542
Legislative Office Bldg.
Albany, NY 12248
(518) 455-3821

December 9, 2004

Ortiz Urges Federal Government to Adopt New Driver's License Regulation

Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz (D-51st) who today opened session in Savannah, Georgia for the National Conference of State Legislators is urging Senate and Congressional members to adopt federal requirements for issuing state drivers licenses. Ortiz is the author of legislation (A.5691) which would allow individuals unable to obtain a valid Social Security Number (SSN) to submit an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in its place. If an individual is unable to obtain either, then a sworn affidavit under penalty of perjury from Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS), stating that their SSN and ITIN were unavailable can be submitted in their place. Additional forms of identification must be provided as well, to verify identity and date of birth.

"I feel that the adoption of a policy that would allow the submittal of an ITIN in place of a SSN would greatly bolster the national security by providing a means of identification and tracking for law enforcement, while improving the quality of life for countless hardworking immigrants throughout the country," stated Ortiz.

Eleven states currently do not require immigrants to prove lawful residence to obtain a driver's license. Those states that do not require proof of citizenship to issue a driver's license all agree that it has had nothing but positive effects for the regions. New Mexico and Utah have recently adopted policies that would grant drivers licenses to individuals unable to prove citizenship with overwhelming support of law enforcement and policy officials.