Utah and Driving Privilege Cards – Worth the Controversy?
While the primary goal of the DPC was to cut down on the amount of uninsured motorists on the road, there is controversy surrounding this type of documentation.
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UPDATED: Jun 28, 2022
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Utah has a history of giving out driving privilege cards for Utah residents that meet the legal criteria. A driving privilege card (DPC) is not common, as it is a way for drivers to receive the legal right to operate a vehicle even if they do not have proper identification or a social security number.
However, because of this, there is plenty of controversy revolving around DPCs and whether or not they are a good idea.
What is the history of the Utah driving privilege card?
State legislators and the Utah Insurance Department facilities state that the DPCs are a way to keep uninsured motorists rates low. The state of Utah has a fairly low rate of 8% of drivers who operate their vehicles without insurance. Part of the reason for this is that the DPCs allow area drivers to easily obtain Utah auto insurance. Immigrants residing in Utah illegally would not otherwise be able to purchase a car insurance policy.
Utah gives out more than 41,000 DPCs and has done so since 2005. Of that amount of cards, the State of Utah states that 76% of them could be matched with a local car insurance policy. Those individuals would not have been able to purchase the legally required auto insurance policies if the did not have the driving privilege card.
However, immigration reform debates have people questioning whether the decrease in uninsured motorists is worth allowing illegal residents easy access to identification. The question arises whether the DPCs are encouraging more people to relocate to Utah illegally and keep from becoming legitimate American citizens.
Local legislator Senator Stephen Urquhart, has introduced a bill that would get rid of driving privilege cards altogether. Urquhart states that giving illegal immigrants DPCs is unacceptable and simply makes it easier for illegals to live undocumented in Utah.
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What else is there to know about DPC?
There is another bit of legislation being put together as well that targets the DPCs. That bill would increase the costs of obtaining a driving privilege card.
Currently, getting a DPC requires motorists to have a long list of documentation and other requirements in order to get a card. The same way that a driver isn’t required to have a license in order to buy a car, there are plenty of other stipulations.
Residents of Utah (six months or longer) must have the following acceptable forms and proof of identity in order to get a DPC:
- They cannot be on a temporary visa
- Must provide proof of driver training or driving privilege from another state or country
- Evidence of having the equivalent of a social security number or an Individual Tax Identification Number as a form of identification
- A completed fingerprint card and evidence of identity
- Completion of a written skills test
This is quite a bit of documentation for a group of people who prefer to reside in the country undocumented.
Is it worth taking away driving privilege cards and risking raising the percentage of uninsured motorists in Utah?
Uninsured drivers will ultimately cost Utah car insurance companies and legitimate residents and motorists more in car insurance costs.