The state Senate has voted to approve legislation that would allow immigrants to obtain driver's licenses regardless of their legal statuses.
The 19-16 vote came early Thursday.
Immigrants would be able to obtain driver's licenses beginning in January 2015 in the bill, which passed the House of Representatives last week.
Applicants would need documentation proving their identities and showing they have lived in the state for at least 90 days. They also would have to pass driving tests and background checks verifying they have no felony convictions in the state.
In a statement released early Thursday morning, Gov. Dannel Malloy said, "This bill is first and foremost about public safety. It's about knowing who is driving on our roads and doing everything we can to make sure those drivers are safe..."
The licenses would be marked "for driving purposes only" and would need to be renewed every three years rather than the standard six years.
A week before the bill passed the Senate in a vote of 74-55 after a more than seven-hour debate that went into the pre-dawn hours.
The bill now goes to Malloy for consideration, and if he signs it, it would go into effect Jan. 1, 2015. Malloy had stated before that he would sign the bill if it passed.
Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.
Friday, July 18 2014 3:26 PM EDT2014-07-18 19:26:33 GMT
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