Most new California licenses go to drivers in US illegally

More than half of new drivers' licenses issued in the state this year have gone to people who are in the country illegally, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
More than half of new drivers' licenses issued in the state this year have gone to people who are in the country illegally, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

California officials say more than half of new drivers' licenses issued in the state this year have gone to people who are in the country illegally.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles reported Friday it has issued roughly 397,000 licenses under a state law that allows people who are in the country illegally to apply for licenses to drive. The law went into effect in January.

That's more than half of the total 759,000 licenses issued in the first six months of 2015.

Supporters of the law say giving licenses to people regardless of their immigration status makes the roads safer for everyone. Opponents say people who are not in the country legally should not be rewarded.

Applicants must pass driving tests and show proof of residency and identity.