Oregon must tighten rules on driver’s licenses because the state is a magnet for noncitizens who want identification cards “for nefarious purposes,” Gov. Ted Kulongoski says. Kulongoski told The Oregonian that the issue took on urgency for him after federal law enforcement agencies raised concerns about Oregon’s lax requirements for obtaining a license. “There have been a number of investigations going on in which Oregon has become the principal place where people who do not have legal presence come to get either a commercial or noncommercial license,” he said.
Oregon, one of eight states that don’t require proof of “lawful presence” to get a driver’s license, is considered to have some of the nation’s loosest requirements. While other states require birth certificates or passports, Oregon has a long list of documents that qualify as evidence that the person is an Oregon resident. Critics say many of those documents are easy to forge or buy on the black market.