The Bush administration and New York State have agreed on a compromise creating a more secure driver’s license for U.S. citizens and allowing illegal immigrants to get a version, reports the Associated Press. New York is the fourth state to reach such an agreement, after Arizona, Vermont, and Washington. The issue is pressing for border states, where tighter rules are soon to go into effect for crossings.
The deal comes about one month after New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer announced a plan for illegal immigrants with a valid foreign passport to obtain a license. The agreement with the Homeland Security Department will create a three-tier license system in New York, the largest state to sign on so far to the government’s post-Sept. 11 effort to make identification cards more secure. New York will issue one ID that will be as secure as a passport; it is intended for people who will need to meet such requirements, even for a short drive to Canada. A second version will meet new federal standards of the Real ID Act, a law designed to make it much harder for illegal immigrants or would-be terrorists to obtain licenses. A third type of license will be available to undocumented immigrants.