Catholic Spirit: Minnesota Senate passes ‘driver’s licenses for all bill

Undocumented immigrants would be able to obtain driver’s licenses in Minnesota without having to show proof of citizenship under a bill that has passed the state House and Senate and is on its way to Gov. Tim Walz.

HF 4 and companion SF 27 — also known as the “Driver’s Licenses for All” bill — would allow an individual to obtain a Minnesota driver’s license or state identification card without the need to show proof of citizenship or lawful presence in the United States.

The Minnesota Senate passed SF 27 on a 34-31 Democrat party-line vote early the morning of Feb. 22 after debate began the previous day. HF 4 passed the House 69-60 on Jan. 30.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda and members of the Minnesota Catholic Conference were among those backing the legislation. Archbishop Hebda urged legislators Jan. 3 to act on the proposal “long overdue in its passage” when he spoke at a news conference as the Minnesota Legislature began its 2023 session.

“Every Minnesota resident, especially those who have proven themselves as hardworking contributors to our communities, deserves to live with dignity, not in fear of being separated from their families every time they drive to meet basic needs,” Archbishop Hebda said. He added, “As a Church, we work in the public arena to keep families together and help them flourish; creating driver’s licenses for all is part of our families first policy agenda.”

Archbishop Hebda said the proposal would end “the fear families face that a traffic violation might end in an undocumented person’s potential deportation, separating them from their loved ones.”


The legislation now makes its way to Walz, who has expressed he plans to sign it into state law. In a post on social media, the governor said, “Ensuring drivers in our state are licensed and carry insurance makes the roads safer for all Minnesotans. As a longtime supporter of ‘Driver’s Licenses for All,’ I’ll be proud to sign this into law once it reaches my desk.”

Jason Adkins, executive director and general counsel for the Minnesota Catholic Conference, said MCC members “are grateful the Legislature passed the immigrant driver’s license bill, for which we have worked over a decade. The legislation helps keep immigrant families together; frees them from some anxiety as they go to work, church, or school; and supports the common good by making sure all drivers are licensed, trained and insured.”

Read the full article from The Catholic Spirit.

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