Several public safety groups, including the Los Angeles Police Protective League, are fighting a new LAPD proposal that would keep unlicensed drivers from facing a 30-day impound.
The current policy calls for drivers who are stopped without a license to have their cars immediately impounded, which can cost as much as $1,500.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck's new plan would offer a reprieve to individuals were not involved in a serious accident and whose licenses had not been suspended or revoked license. They must also have no previous convictions for driving without a licence.
The plan is supported by immigration rights groups who say immigrants who can't get licenses have been unfairly targeted.
However, the LAPPL says motorists who drive without licenses are five times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes and that Beck's plan doesn't conform to state law.
Beck says his plan was crafted after meeting with both legal experts and immigration rights groups.
Adding fuel to the debate is a crash that killed three women and injured three others in South Los Angeles last week. The driver of the SUV the women were riding in was cited by California Highway Patrol officers on Jan. 3 for driving without license.
The police commission is set to discuss the plan on Feb. 14.