Mass. Suspends Driver's Licenses Transferred from Ariz.

By:  Jack Kenny
09/20/2011
       
Mass. Suspends Driver's Licenses Transferred from Ariz.

Arizona created quite a national furor a year ago by enacting a law to crack down on illegal immigrants, but the ease with which non-English-speaking people can obtain driver’s licenses there has attracted refugees now living in Massachusetts. The Bay State has suspended the driver's licenses of 124 Massachusetts residents who obtained licenses from Arizona, which they then converted into Massachusetts licenses, the Boston Globe reported Monday. State Police are investigating hundreds of other cases in which Massachusetts residents may have gained driving privileges through Arizona's more flexible policy.

Massachusetts offers the written exam required for a driver's license in English and 26 other languages, second only to California. But the state requires the applicant to take the exam unaided, while Arizona allows the services of a translator. Arizona also allows applicants to bypass the written test altogether with certificates from state-approved private driver schools. And while Arizona requires proof that the applicant is in the country legally and requires multiple documents for proof of identity, the state, unlike Massachusetts, does not require proof of in-state residence.

Arizona created quite a national furor a year ago by enacting a law to crack down on illegal immigrants, but the ease with which non-English-speaking people can obtain driver’s licenses there has attracted refugees now living in Massachusetts. The Bay State has suspended the driver's licenses of 124 Massachusetts residents who obtained licenses from Arizona, which they then converted into Massachusetts licenses, the Boston Globe reported Monday. State Police are investigating hundreds of other cases in which Massachusetts residents may have gained driving privileges through Arizona's more flexible policy.

Massachusetts offers the written exam required for a driver's license in English and 26 other languages, second only to California. But the state requires the applicant to take the exam unaided, while Arizona allows the services of a translator. Arizona also allows applicants to bypass the written test altogether with certificates from state-approved private driver schools. And while Arizona requires proof that the applicant is in the country legally and requires multiple documents for proof of identity, the state, unlike Massachusetts, does not require proof of in-state residence.

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