February 16, 2016

SB 320 GEORGIA! Government of the Chamber, by the Chamber, for the Chamber — “Quick, get this thing passed before anybody sees it – Chamber orders!” #Chris Carr #TylerHarper

Posted by D.A. King at 11:46 pm - Email the author   Print This Post Print This Post  



#Georgiafornia: Government of the Chamber, by the Chamber, for the Chamber

last edited 12:30 AM February 19, 2016


  • Added March 16, 2017: RELATED – New knowledge: Georgia has in place a law that allows foreign nationals to keep their home country’s drivers license in tact and fully valid after they are issued a Georgia drivers license. That is not allowed for Americans and if you have two valid drivers licenses, you will/can be prosecuted for fraud.
  • OCGA 40-5-20 
  • “(2) Any noncitizen who is eligible for issuance of a driver’s license pursuant to the requirements of this chapter may be issued a driver’s license without surrendering any driver’s license previously issued to him or her by any foreign jurisdiction.”

  • ___
  • This bill passed the super-majority Republican state Senate yesterday with zero (0) “NAY” votes. You can see that vote HERE. There were four excused absences. It now goes to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

Senate Bill 320 – or…”what’s that smell?”

Code Section 40-5-21 – relating to issuance, expiration, and renewal of (drivers) licenses.

Dropped Tuesday, Feb 2, 2016. (Groundhog Day)

(1) Watson, Ben 1st
(2) Harper, Tyler 7th
(3) Beach, Brandon 21st
(4) Ginn, Frank 47th
(5) Miller, Butch 49th
(6) Dugan, Mike 30th (Gov. Deal floor leader)

Passed out of the Senate Public Safety Committee — (Tyler Harper , Chairman) on Tuesday, Feb 9, 2016. Elapsed time from introduction: five legislative days. History HERE.

Voted on floor Tuesday, Feb 16, 2016, with a floor amendment from Senator Mike Crane. Elapsed time from committee approval: two legislative days (the senate was not in session Friday, Feb. 12 or Monday, Feb 15).

State law already says that licensed drivers from nations with a reciprocal agreement with Georgia DDS are exempt from taking the Georgia Knowledge (written) and road tests for a drivers license. Koreans with a Korean drivers license, for example, are not required to take the same tests Americans are to obtain a Georgia drivers license.

Translation: The Georgia Chamber of Commerce: “We don’t want to bother anybody by insuring they can pass our drivers tests…We can make mo’ money if we allow other nations to decide who can drive in Georgia when they do bidness….” This part became law in 2013 (HB 475)  and was shot out of Gov. Deal’s office almost as fast as this 2016 ‘mo’ money bill’. Senator David Shafer called me before session began to take my temperature on the idea. It passed anyway…

SB 320 adds language to law that says if a law enforcement officer cannot verify the validity of a foreign drivers license (they cannot, see further down), written in a foreign language, that license shall be presumed to be valid if the driver/bearer also:

* Comes from a country that participates in the visa waiver program and has in his possession a valid passport from that country with documentation evidencing lawful entry into the United States that is dated within 90 days of the date of the officer’s inspection of such license;
* Has in his immediate possession a nonimmigrant (temporary) visa and a valid passport from such country with documentation evidencing lawful entry into the United States that is dated within 12 months of the date of the officer’s inspection of such license;
*Has an “International Drivers Permit” –NOTE: An IDP is merely a translation of the foreign language DL into English.


* Has in his or her immediate possession a certification in English that the nonresident driver’s license is valid from a foreign consular official – like a Mexican consular official here in Atlanta – along with with “documentation” showing lawful entry into the United States that is dated within 12 months of the date of the officer’s inspection of such license.

Translation: A cop on the street would be expected to be an expert in national immigration and visa documents and know that they are not expired, extended or fake. And we are now handing over investigative power to and trusting consular officials from nations that depend on their citizens to send money back home from the Georgia and the USA to assure our law enforcement personnel that a driver license is real and valid.
And, this is my favorite part:
* Has “certification” in English as to the validity of his foreign language, foreign-issued, nonresident driver’s license made by an official designated by the commissioner of DDS or the commissioner of economic development.

Note: This would be the same (current) DDS commissioner who has his official spokesperson telling media that current policy to give illegal aliens with deferred action on deportation a drivers license is “per the “federal DREAM Act.” This, while the DDS legislative liaison has been telling state legislators for two-years that “undocumented and illegal immigrants are not eligible for a Georgia drivers license or ID.” And DDS isn’t that ambitious about following state law anyway.

And it would be the same Gov. Nathan Deal–appointed commissioner of economic development (Chris Carr) whose job it is to make mo’money for the Chamber of Commerce members.

Personal note: There is nobody in the state of Georgia is more obedient to the bosses, profit-oriented and ‘Establishment Republican’ than Chris Carr.

I have spoken tonight to the Gwinnett County Sheriff who kindly put me in touch with his deputy who runs the license plate reader unit. This is a twenty-five year street Deputy Sheriff working in Gwinnett County, Georgia, the number-one immigrant destination of Georgia.I have been told that they have no equipment that would enable them to verify any foreign drivers licenses and that their officers have never had any training on deciphering or inspecting immigration visas and documents or passport stamps.

IF a driver with a foreign drivers license still happens to be cited for a violation?

If a nonresident driver is charged with a violation of Code Section 40-5-20 and the driver had in his immediate possession a driver’s license issued by the foreign country at the time of the offense, such charge shall be dismissed if:

(1) The nonresident foreign driver provides the prosecuting attorney, or the court, with a certification in English as to the validity of his foreign nonresident driver’s license on the date of such offense, whereupon such certification is made by a diplomatic or consular official of such foreign country… and

(2) Evidence exists that such nonresident foreign driver was otherwise authorized to operate a motor vehicle in the United States under the provisions of the Convention on Road Traffic, 3 U.S.T. 3008, TIAS 2487, or any similar such treaty, international agreement, or reciprocal agreement between the United States and a foreign country concerning driving privileges of nonresidents and documentation evidencing lawful entry into the United States that is dated within 12 months of the date of the officer’s inspection of such license;


The validity of the driver’s license of such nonresident foreign driver on the date of such offense is confirmed by a means of verification established by the (DDS) commissioner by regulation.” END.

Public safety is not the point here. But the bill passed out of the Republican-controlled Georgia Senate Public Safety committee and passed the senate with zero “no” votes (off the floor with excused absence: Senators Hunter Hill, Josh McKoon, PK Martin, David Lucas)