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Documented status no longer needed to obtain license in California

A new California law (SB 1159), which was approved by the governor on September 28, 2014, will allow immigrants to apply for licenses, even if they do not have legal status. The law requires all 40 licensing boards under the California Department of Consumer Affairs to consider applicants regardless of their immigration status. The law will formally go into full effect in 2016.

Paving the way for the new law, was a historic state Supreme Court decision on January 2, 2014, which ruled that lawyer Sergio Garcia should be admitted to the California bar despite not having legal status.

Before the law passed, licensing boards only considered licensure applicants that had social security numbers. The new bill orders boards to accept federal taxpayer identification numbers issued by the IRS as an alternative.

Read more about the Supreme Court ruling and CA law here and here.