ST. PAUL, Minn — An estimated 81,000 undocumented immigrants live, work and go to school in Minnesota.
Though the new law goes into effect Oct. 1, Minnesotans without proof of legal presence in the United States can already begin the process by scheduling appointments for written knowledge tests. All other requirements remain the same.
The law was passed this spring by the DFL-controlled legislature with the support of most Minnesota law enforcement agencies.
Minnesota joins 18 states and Washington, D.C. in authorizing driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
In Talking Points, Esme Murphy talks with two Minnesotans who say getting the license will be life-changing.
Oscar Corral is an undocumented resident who arrived in this country with his family at the age of 15. He says getting this license will be a huge relief.
Emillia Gonzalez Avalos, the executive director of Unidos Minnesota, says the change will have a profound impact on young people.
"For the first time since 2001 undocumented youth will be able to go to driver's education just like anyone else," said Avalos.
Esteban Rivera, an immigration attorney, spoke to Murphy with his client Jassiel Martinez. Martinez was a child who overstayed his U.S. visa and will now be able to apply for a license.
Rivera says undocumented residents will need two pieces of identification: A birth certificate or a passport from abroad.
Critics say they fear the new driver's licenses will be used to try and vote illegally.
"Our concern is that the driver's licenses does not show any difference between a legal citizen and an illegal citizen," said Sen. John Jasinski of Faribault, "So we wanted something on there for driving privileges only, not for voting."
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has provided a list that answers all frequently asked questions.
Talking Points airs every Wednesday and Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., live on CBS News Minnesota.
NOTE: Below is a preview of Talking Points presented on "The 4."
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