This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Undocumented immigrants would pay more for Utah "driving privilege" cards, and face a more robust background check under legislation headed to the full Senate.
The Senate Transportation Committee unanimously advanced SB184 on Tuesday.
Its sponsor, Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, said Utah had been conducting background checks for applicants that covered only a few neighboring states. However, he said one applicant had "committed a heinous crime in California" that was not discovered.
So he is proposing now to have a national FBI background check for applicants. That will raise the annual fee for driving privilege cards from $80 to $109.50.
Bramble sponsored the legislation that created the driving privilege card in 2005 to help ensure that undocumented immigrants have auto insurance and pass driving tests.
Utah issued 35,232 driving-privilege cards in 2014. That is down from 36,282 in 2013 and 36,921 in 2012. The numbers show a continuing decline from a peak of about 43,000 in 2008 when the recession hit full force and immigration decreased.