An effort to overturn the recently passed state law to allow undocumented immigrants the ability to apply for and acquire driver’s licenses hit an important threshold.

A committee called Fair and Secure Massachusetts filed their first round of petitions to repeal the Work and Family Mobility Act to Secretary of State Bill Galvin’s office on Thursday morning. They said the petitions currently contain 40,120 signatures, the amount required under state law to get a referendum on the November ballot. But the committee isn't stopping collections quite yet.

“We need about 20,000 more to feel as though we can finish this confidently, because what lies ahead of us are challenges both from the Secretary of State's office in terms of form, and from the organized opposition,” said Wendy Wakeman, administrator for the organization. She added that they feel they are "very much on track" to get that margin.

Fair and Secure Massachusetts formed after the bill became law in June. Republican Gov. Charlie Baker initially vetoed the legislation, but the predominantly Democratic Legislature overrode that. The group opposes the bill because they say people in the country illegally shouldn't be getting licenses, and that the Registry of Motor Vehicles isn't equipped to verify identification documents.

Galvin’s office confirmed the receipt of the petitions on Thursday. Spokeswoman Debra O’Malley said the group can continue to collect signatures up until the deadline to submit them to the local clerks for certification, which is 5 p.m. Aug. 24.

After that, elections divisions staff under Galvin will physically examine every page for disqualifying marks, which can discount dozens of signatures on a single page.

Once the petitions have been reviewed, the signatures on the petitions are then tallied by county. No more than a quarter of the required signatures can come from a single county, so any signatures over 10,030 from one county would not be counted toward the 40,120 needed. If the verified signatures hit the official threshold, the Secretary of State’s office will include the referendum on November ballots.

In an interview, MassGOP Chairman Jim Lyons said they probably have “over 50,000 signatures already collected.” They've been tabling outside of Market Baskets and Cabela stores.

“I’m not confident 'til the game’s over,” he said.

The Work and Family Mobility Act is slated go into effect in July 2023. Proponents of the law have long said it will improve road safety and keep immigrants’ worries at bay of being pulled over during traffic stops, arrested, and deported because they’re undocumented.

“We know in other states that have passed this bill, passed a form of driver's licenses for immigrants, that hit-and-run accidents go down by 10 percent,” House co-sponsor Tricia Farley-Bouvier told GBH News in June. Among those states is Connecticut, which saw a drop of hit-and-run crashes and a decline of people found guilty for unlicensed driving after that law was passed.

To apply for a driver’s license, immigrants will have to show two documents proving their date of birth and identity, like an unexpired foreign passport, consular identification document or certified copy of a birth certificate.

Consular identification cards are issued by some countries who have citizens living in other countries, and can be used for voting in that foreign country, or for identification. Countries that have consular offices each have their own varied requirements to get an identification card. For instance, in Colombia, there’s a document showing the individual’s blood type, and in Guinea, applicants need two documents including an unexpired passport, photo ID and/or birth certificate.

Asked twice about why these documents weren't enough, Lyons claimed he’d already answered the question by saying the Registry of Motor Vehicles has problems, billions of tax dollars are spent on people coming into the state illegally, and getting a license is a privilege.

There were many iterations of the law over several legislative sessions, and supporters don’t want to see their work undone.

“The Work and Family Mobility Act makes our communities safer, builds trust between law enforcement and immigrant communities, and benefits our economy,” said Elizabeth Sweet, executive director of the MIRA Coalition, which advocated for the law.

“Members of the diverse and united Driving Families Forward coalition have fought tirelessly for nearly 20 years to allow individuals to apply for drivers licenses regardless of immigration status, and we will continue to fight for this reform as long as it takes,” she said. “If the issue hits the ballot on Nov. 6, we’re confident the voters of Massachusetts will resoundingly agree with us.”

Reporting from previous GBH stories was used in this story.