Massachusetts Driver’s License For Illegal Immigrants Question Officially Certified By Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office

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Should illegal immigrants be eligible to obtain driver’s licenses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts?

Some form of that question will be on the November general election ballot this year.

The Elections Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office certified the veto referendum effort as Question 4 on the November 8, 2022 ballot late last week, the office announced on Twitter. The state accepted 71,883 of the roughly 100,000 signatures submitted by Fair and Secure Massachusetts, the group leading the repeal effort. Since the state requires only 40,120 signatures for a veto referendum to make the ballot, that means the coalition gathered more than 30,000 more certified signatures than it needed.

A “No” vote on the question would repeal the law (H.4805) that is scheduled to make illegal immigrants eligible to obtain driver’s licenses starting on July 1, 2023. A “Yes” vote would keep the bill in place, allowing illegal immigrants to start getting driver’s licenses next year.

The Massachusetts Legislature, which is dominated by Democrats, enacted the driver’s-licenses-for-illegal-immigrants bill in June 2022, override a veto by Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican.

Republican state committeewoman Maureen Maloney, who chairs the Fair and Secure Massachusetts ballot committee, said the signatures tally shows strong interest in repealing the driver’s-licenses law.

“Making the ballot is a huge achievement, and to do it with such an excess of signatures shows the groundswell of support across the commonwealth for repealing this law,” Maloney said in a written statement. 

Opponents of making driver’s licenses available for illegal immigrants say that it would make Massachusetts more of a magnet for illegal immigration. They also say it would lead to illegal immigrants unlawfully being registered to vote because the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has automatic voter registration, and they also question the Registry of Motor Vehicles’ ability to vet foreign documents written in various languages and alphabets.

Supporters of the law say illegal immigrants deserve to be able to drive legally in Massachusetts, and that it would make it easier for them to get to work and school and to get car insurance.

Elizabeth Sweet, executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, which supports the driver’s-licenses law, put out a statement saying that she thinks giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants is a common-sense proposal that will withstand the battle of popular opinion in the Commonwealth.

“A broad coalition of law enforcement leaders, advocates, and legislators came together to create this common sense law that will help make everyone safer on the roads. The Work and Family Mobility Act will mean that all drivers – regardless of immigration status – would follow the same rules of the road, pass the same road test, and possess the same insurance requirements,” Sweet wrote. “While it’s disappointing that partisan forces are seeking to overturn this law and put public safety at risk to score cheap political points, our broad coalition is ready for the debate and campaign ahead. MIRA is proud to stand with police chiefs, district attorneys, and advocacy organizations who support this law and we are confident that the voters of Massachusetts will support the policy in November.”

In June, Massachusetts became the 17th state to approve a law making illegal immigrants eligible for driver’s licenses, despite bipartisan opposition in the state legislature. The Senate overrode the governor’s veto with a 32-8 vote (80 percent of its members) and the House overrode the veto 119-36 (about 77 percent of its members); to override a veto requires a two-thirds majority in each chamber.

Here’s a summary of the proposed referendum provided to NewBostonPost by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office in July:

A June 2022 UMass Amherst poll found that 46 percent of Bay Staters oppose giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants while 40 percent support the idea.

For more information on the initiative, go to


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