SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A week into the new California law allowing undocumented immigrants to get driver licenses, Bay Area Department of Motor Vehicle offices have been swamped with new applicants, while many are being turned away after initially failing the written test.

With the passage of AB 60, the DMV opened four new processing centers across the state, including one in San Jose, for the sole purpose of handling the tsunami of unlicensed drivers coming out of the shadows. In the first three days the new law went into effect, DMV offices statewide received 46,000 applications.

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Meanwhile, DMV officials says 50 percent of these new applicants are failing the English version of the written test, while two-thirds of the applicants are failing the Spanish version.

The new DMV office at 2222 Senter Road in East San Jose gets about a thousand visitors a day, and people line up before dawn to begin the arduous process of applying for a driver license.

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The vast majority are undocumented immigrants, who have been behind the wheel for years without a license, commuting and driving with their families in fear.

“Yeah, (I’m worried about) the police,” said unlicensed driver Luis Rodriguez. “And you know they take the car and it’s expensive when you try to get it back.”

The photo, thumbprint, vision test, written test and road test are part of an hours-long process and a rite of passage for the thousands of drivers who are already on the road.

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Also, no license also means these drivers carry no insurance. Many admitted driving without insurance, and said they would immediately buy insurance as soon as they got their license.