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Posted: 11:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Driver's license bill draws criticism

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John Spink, jspink@ajc.com

By Sandra Parrish

Atlanta —

A bill that would allow foreign nationals, who are in this country legally, to get a Georgia driver’s license as long as they have a valid one from their country is one step away from final passage.

The Senate easily approved the bill that would also grant reciprocity rights to Georgians in those foreign countries.

Gov. Nathan Deal supports the measure saying it will help the state attract international businesses.

But opponents worry about safety issues.

“Most of us aren’t willing to sell the public safety feature of our Georgia driver’s license exam for increased profit,” says D.A. King, an activist against illegal immigration.

He says the state now offers the exam in ten languages and there’s no reason that someone from another country shouldn’t have to take it.

“I don’t dispute that it will make it easier for people to come and do business in Georgia, but then again so would open borders... it’s the same concept,” says King.

The bill was amended in the Senate to ensure the state would only enter into such agreements with those countries that have similar driving laws so that safety won’t be compromised.

The measure now goes back to the House to agree or disagree with the changes.

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