Expanding Access to Driver’s Licenses: How Many Additional Cars Might Be Purchased?

January 31, 2017. If a policy was implemented allowing all age eligible immigrants, regardless of immigration status, to obtain a license, the Fiscal Policy Institute estimates that 97,000 additional cars would be purchased and registered in about a three year period, a one percent increase in the total number of vehicles in the state.

An innovative analysis compares the vehicle ownership rates in households that include an unauthorized immigrant with other immigrant households. The comparison adjusts for household income, number of adults per household, and the “take-up rate” for unauthorized immigrants getting licenses. Click here to view the full brief and the number of additional vehicles by region, including New York City, Long Island, Lower Hudson Valley, and Northern and Western New York.