It's been a fight in Albany for years, particularly for upstate communities where cars are often needed to get around. But now, New York's Green Light law is set to take effect, allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain legal driver's licenses like citizens.

"Starting Monday, The DMV will no longer ask applicants about their immigration legal status when applying for a standard license,” said Anu Joshi, the senior director of immigration policy of New York Immigration Coalition. “Applicants will be able to apply even if they don't have a social security number."

This year the Democratic controlled State legislature passed a number of laws that would have been unthinkable under the Republican controlled State Senate. But, at times, the Green Light bill seemed out of reach, even to supporters, with some Democrats worried about the backlash from moderate voters. In the final days of the legislative session, however, it passed the State Senate.

"It was a struggle,” said Democratic State Senator Luis Sepulveda. “Last Legislative session we had to fight the people that oppose it. We had to fight just the racist, anti-immigrant rhetoric."

Some Republican county clerks in upstate communities have threatened not to follow the law because they oppose it ideologically. Some have also filed lawsuits.

Others have worried the law will be underutilized, since anti-immigrant sentiment from Washington may prevent undocumented immigrants from going to a DMV and identifying their status. While New York's law cannot guarantee an individual's ability to remain anonymous, the new law has some of the strongest protections in the nation for those seeking licenses.

"They are not allowed to share any confidential information,” said Joshi. “Like your name, or your photo, with any immigration enforcement agency without a judicial warrant or subpoena."

Before the 9/11 attacks, individuals could obtain license in New York State much more easily. But in an effort to crackdown on document fraud, the Pataki administration instituted a requirement that anyone seeking a license must present a social security number. This law reverses that policy, and supporters say it will only make everyone on the roadways safer.