An estimated 103,000 undocumented immigrants reside in Indiana, the vast majority of whom have no pathway to obtain legal authorization to drive. This restriction makes life significantly harder for undocumented residents, who must constantly weigh the universal need to drive against the risk of a traffic infraction or accident leading to a citation for driving without a license. But such a restrictive licensing regime is also detrimental to all legal residents of Indiana, who pay the price of this policy with increased accident rates, higher auto insurance premiums, time and resource penalties for law enforcement, and fewer public funds available for other services. Consequently, sixteen states and the District of Columbia have passed driving privilege laws (DPLs) to allow their undocumented residents to obtain legal authorization to drive. This report proposes state legislation to allow undocumented Indiana residents to drive legally through the creation of a driving privilege card (DPC), and analyzes the likely social and economic effects of passing such legislation. Indiana has neither the nation’s largest population of undocumented immigrants, nor the busiest or most dangerous roads. Nevertheless, we hope that this report can contextualize the benefits that every Hoosier could reap from a policy solution that may not be front of mind for the majority of Indiana legislators or citizens.
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