In this Nov. 30, 2019 file photo, drivers wait for the start of the driver’s test at a D.C. golf course.
A Washington state appeals court on Friday upheld the constitutionality of a law that requires applicants for driver’s licenses to pay a $500 fee for a driver license with an electronic image on it.
But in a 2-1 decision, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the requirement was unconstitutional.
The ruling comes just two months after the U.K. Supreme Court rejected a challenge to a similar law.
The 5th Circuit opinion was issued late Friday.
The law requires applicants to show proof of their citizenship in order to receive a driver or permit, and requires them to pay the $500 deposit.
It was also found unconstitutional in Maryland, the U, U.N. and in Washington state, where the state attorney general filed a challenge.
District Judge William Orrick ruled that the law violated the First Amendment rights of drivers who can’t prove citizenship.
Orrick wrote that drivers can’t show that they’ve had the benefit of a $600 tax credit or the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Orris also said the law could discourage applicants who may not qualify because of age or disability.
“A license does not confer citizenship or the right to vote,” Orrick said.
“The burden on applicants seeking a license is not a function of age, illness or disability, but rather of showing that they can meet the requirements of the law.”
A Washington driver’s training association argued that the requirements are necessary because drivers in Washington do not have the ability to prove they are U. S. citizens.
The association said that since a driver does not have an ID, “the law requires them, in effect, to register as a non-U.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.