The state Senate passed the controversial bill in a 20 to 7 vote. The bill would allow immigrants who have lived in Oregon for at least a year and meet other requirements to apply for driver’s licenses without proving legal presence.
The bill sparked controversy at a lengthy public hearing earlier this month because some say it will attract illegal immigrants to Oregon.
Oregon Senator Lee Beyer chaired the committee where the bill came through.
“The important thing to know about the bill is that it is not an ID card. It is purely a driver’s privilege card, and what it is targeted as frankly is public safety,” Beyer said.
Supporters of the bill say it would make Oregon roads safer because there will be more trained and insured drivers.
The bill now heads to the House.