Tuesday, February 20, California State Senator Josh Newman voiced interest in giving drivers the chance to choose the photo that is ultimately printed on their license to drive. However, it would cost drivers additional fees in return.
“I've had very few people who have said ‘Yeah, I love my photo,’ said state Sen. Newman of Fullerton. “And I'll say in my own experience, I think I blinked or something at the DMV, and I said to the nice woman who took the photo ‘I think that wasn't so good,' and she said, ‘Live with it.’”
The bill, which is referred to as SB 1407, would allow drivers to take multiple photos for their driver’s license at any local Department of Motor Vehicles, with an additional fee charged for each photo taken.
All the fees collected for additional photos would go toward funding for the new Driver Education and Training Fund.
"SB 1407 would create a new revenue source for something that is really lacking in public education," Newman said. "Driver education needs to be a funding priority for the state and this legislation creates a simple mechanism to bring drivers education back to our schools."
The Driver Education and Training Fraud would be created if SB 1407 is passed and would be overseen by the State Treasury, according to Newman.
All funds collected for the initiative would be used to develop and provide driver education and training programs that are now only available at select private and public high schools.
"This fund would allow more schools to provide this important service to student drivers," Newman continued.
A majority of California high schools have had to drop their driver education courses in the past several decades as a result of lack of funding and increased curricular demands on student time.
Due to the reduction in courses offered at schools, California teens looking to get their driving permits or licenses have had to pay for training from private companies.
This program would benefit students of low to moderate income by allowing them to have drivers education offered at their schools, instead of having to resort to paying for costly private courses.
"In addition to allowing more than one photo to be taken at the DMV, SB 1407 alternatively allows for drivers to get a photo taken off-site and supply that photo to the DMV for placement on their license," Newman said. "The off-site photo will still need to meet guidelines established by the department."
The bill still needs to go through both the state Senate and the Assembly before being considered at all. If it passes both, it will be signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.