Undocumented immigrants can now get California IDs

Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday signed a bill allowing anyone to obtain a California ID regardless of immigration status, which he called "a critical step for inclusion."

"California is expanding opportunity for everyone, regardless of immigration status," said Gov. Newsom. "We’re a state of refuge – a majority-minority state, where 27% of us are immigrants. That’s why I’m proud to announce the signing of today’s bills to further support our immigrant community, which makes our state stronger every single day."

AB 1766, also known as "California ID’s For All", was introduced by Assemblyman Mark Stone earlier this year. Anyone with a state ID can gain employment, health care, housing, and secure a bank account.

In a statement, officials outlined what this means for undocumented Californians in the workplace, schools, and regarding health care:

  • Street vendors can more easily get local health permits, supporting better economic inclusion and opportunity.
  • Immigrant students will have improved access to in-state tuition at public colleges and universities, and to ESL courses at community colleges. Additionally, immigrant student borrowers will have more options to finance their college educations.
  • Provides low-income Californians, regardless of their immigration status, eligibility for legal assistance in civil matters affecting basic human needs.
  • Access to community health workers and promotes who can facilitate and provide culturally and linguistically responsive care.

Additionally, officials said an "alternate plea scheme will be created for defendants charged with drug offenses, which mitigates particular harm for noncitizen Californians."

Last month, Gov. Newsom signed SB 836 by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), prohibiting the disclosure of a person’s immigration status in open court in a criminal case by any party unless approved by the judge.