State officials hope a new law that offers California driver’s licenses to immigrants in the country illegally will also spur them to buy insurance.
To encourage the practice, the California Department of Insurance is aggressively marketing its Low Cost Auto Insurance program to the large pool of immigrants projected to seek licenses under the AB 60 law taking effect Jan. 1.
“It would be a tragedy if after all this effort, the 1.4 million people who are getting driver’s licenses for the first time don’t have auto insurance,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.
Jones and others recognized that the cost of getting licensed — $33 — is a lot cheaper than buying insurance for hundreds of dollars a year. So, Jones, working with Senator Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, got the state Legislature to open up the low-cost insurance program to the new category of immigrant drivers.
“The price will be less than $450 a year, which is less than $38 a month,” Jones said. He said that’s about a third of what it costs to get private auto insurance in many markets across California.
So, why would any immigrant enter California legally when the government is offering all the free stuff to lawbreakers?