Monday marked the first day immigrants living in Massachusetts could apply for driver’s licenses and learner’s permits regardless of their immigration status.

The Work and Family Mobility Act, which became law last year, went into effect on Saturday, July 1, and throughout Monday, volunteers and extra staff were on hand at RMV locations to help applicants.

“It’s a ‘dream come true’ thing today,” one man told 7NEWS, describing how having a license would allow many to drive at ease compared to driving without a license. “We always have [been] watching over our shoulders, always watch our back, what we are doing — mostly, trying to avoid even driving.”

Another woman said that now when immigrants such as her leave work, there is far less worry about possibly being stopped by police.

The change is made possible by the Work and Family Mobility Act, a bill that was drafted back in 2019, vetoed by former Governor Charlie Baker in 2022, and then made law after the Democratic-controlled legislature overrode said veto. It also survived a repeal effort after being put on the November ballot that year.

The law allows undocumented immigrants to apply for a driver’s license if they can provide a passport or foreign ID. However, those who are in the country illegally must provide a denial letter from the U.S. Social Security Administration.

Driving Families Forward, a coalition for immigrant communities, set up shop at RMVs across the state on Monday to help answer questions for those applying.

“People are going to be able to drive home, to work, to go to the doctor’s — really simple things, and to know that they can do that without fear of being stopped and detained,” an advocate said. “And we’ve seen in other states that have passed legislation like this that the number of hit-and-run accidents have decreased, so we expect that to similarly happen here in Massachusetts.”

The Registry of Motor Vehicles has said they will have translators for driving tests, but added that immigrants can also bring family members or friends with them to help with translation. They are only required to be over 18 years old.

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