Driver's License Requirements Pushing Illegal Immigrants to Washington.
KENNEWICK, Wash. - Requirements banning illegal immigrants from getting an Oregon drivers license could be sending them North to get one in Washington.
Representatives with the Department of Motor Vehicles in Oregon report the number of Spanish speakers taking the drivers license test has gone down by 90%.
A new Oregon law requires drivers to have a social security number to qualify for a drivers license. In Washington the same rule dosen't apply, and drivers need only show a social security declaration meaning they don't have a SSN. Neither state can officially say there's any proof the new law is pushing illegal immigrants from Oregon to Washington. However, Selena Davis with Washington's DOL office in Olympia says the number of Spanish speakers taking the drivers tests in offices along the borders of Washington has almost doubled in the last year.
"The increase in overall Spanish knowledge tests taken at these offices has increased by 47%. That's when you look at July, August and September from 07 to 08," said Davis.
Davis said the cities seeing an increase in Spanish speaking drivers tests in Washington are Walla Walla, Goldendale, Kelso, Vancouver and White Salmon, which are all fairly close to the border.