CA DMV reverses decision to eliminate tests in 25 languages, including Tagalog

Photo courtesy of the CA Department of Motor Vehicles

THE California DMV will still offer the written drivers license tests in 32 languages, backtracking on its previous announcement that it would eliminate 25 of the languages, including Tagalog.

The reversal on Friday, May 7 came after The Sacramento Bee reported on the department’s plans to get rid of the majority of the language offerings as part of a streamlining process. The plans would have only left seven languages required by the Dymally-Alatorre Bilingual Services Act.

“At the direction of the Governor’s Office, the DMV has reversed its recent decision to offer one type of driver’s license knowledge test in seven languages only,” the department’s public affairs office said in an email to The Sacramento Bee.

It added that though the seven languages represent over 95% of DMV customers, “meeting the needs of non and limited English speaking customers is more important to the DMV.”

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) worked with the Korean American Federation of Los Angeles (KAFLA), Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON) and the Little Tokyo Service Center in speaking up against the original decision.

“Thank you to the office of Governor Newsom for having the DMV rescind their plan to reduce test administration from 32 languages to seven languages, it is the right thing to do. The DMV’s plan would have excluded Korean, Khmer, Tagalog, Japanese and many more languages. It is cruel and unacceptable to restrict language access to our immigrant communities. We all know how important getting a driver’s license is for work, commute, unemployment benefits, and more. The DMV must be able to continue to provide bilingual services to our diverse populations,” Santiago said in a statement on Friday. (AJPress)

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