House to vote on driver’s license tests being English only

The legislation faces opposition from several advocacy groups

Carolyn Crist
February 9, 2011

House representatives will decide today whether driver's license tests should only be given in English.

Similar legislation was introduced in 2009 and 2010, and this year's vote could set the tone for illegal immigration debates for the 2011 legislative session.

Rep. James Mills, R-Chestnut Mountain, introduced House Bill 72 on Jan. 25, and it passed through the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee with an 8-2 vote Thursday. After it passed through the Rules Committee on Monday, the bill goes to the House floor today.

"With some road signs going digital, it's no longer just look at a symbol and understand what it means," Mills said. "You need to be able to understand the digital readouts going over your head."

The bill would require permanent residents to take driver's license exams in English, and temporary residents can still take the test in 14 different languages for 10 years. The road sign test is currently given in English.

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