COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Colorado began issuing driver's licenses and identification cards to immigrants regardless of their legal status, marking a dramatic change in a state where legislators once passed strict immigration enforcement laws.
On its first day, the DMV issued 62 driver's licenses, 23 permits and 5 IDs.
There was a festive mood at one Denver office issuing the documents Friday morning as state Department of Revenue Director Barbara Brohl congratulated applicants once they had their cards approved.
Five offices across the state are taking appointments from immigrants, including those with temporary legal permits and those in the country illegally. About 9,500 people are signed up for appointments through the next 90 days.
Colorado is among eight states that last year passed laws allowing identification documents for immigrants in the country illegally. The change is notable in Colorado because Democrats and Republicans in 2006 passed a package of laws cracking down on illegal immigration.
Applicants must make an appointment to apply for a license, permit or ID. They can do so by phone at 303-205-2335 or online at the DMV website. The website also lists all the requirements needed to apply and dates of informational workshops.
The appointments have been booked through October, but the DMV plans on opening up more each morning.