Thursday, June 10, 2004

Tennessee's certificate of driving isn't meant to be used as I.D., but its legal effect may be in the eye of the beholder

"Tennessee will soon be informing everyone, from banks to other states to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, that it has a new official document that can't be used for official identification."

"'There's a question about Tennessee's ability to tell other states, other police departments, private businesses, and even the federal government what they can or cannot accept as an identification,' said Tyler Moran, policy analyst with the National Immigration Law Center, an immigration advocacy organization."

"The individual decisions of insurance companies and law enforcement concern immigrant advocates such as David Lubell of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition."

"In Tennessee border states such as Arkansas, where officials had heard of the document, officials also were making up their minds about what to do with it."

"'They would be allowed to drive, but they might be arrested for being here illegally,' said Mike Munns, administrator of the state's Office of Motor Vehicles."

"Southwest Airlines said it would not accept the driving certificate as ID; other airlines, such as Continental and American, weren't aware of the new law when contacted this week."

The Tennessean

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