What States Give Undocumented Driver’S License? (Solution)

These states—California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington—issue a license if an applicant provides certain documentation, such as a foreign birth certificate, foreign passport, or consular card and

What states offer drivers license to undocumented immigrants?

  • Undocumented immigrants can get a driver’s license in 12 states plus the District of Columbia. The states are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Vermont and Washington.

Which states give drivers licenses to illegals?

State laws permitting this are on the books in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

Can undocumented immigrants get driver’s license in Florida?

Non-Immigrants are entitled to a one-year driver license or ID. There are many possibilities for acceptable non-immigrant documents depending on each person’s situation and immigration status.

Can an undocumented person get a driver’s license in California?

Governor Brown signed AB 60 into law in 2013, which directs the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to issue a driver’s license to any California resident who is eligible, regardless of immigration status. This means that an applicant who is undocumented can receive a driver’s license under AB 60.

Can I get a driver’s license without a Social Security card?

You can apply for a ‘Standard’ license or permit without a Social Security Card or ineligibility letter.

Can undocumented immigrants get an ID in California?

California law does not allow for an ID card to be issued to individuals who are not legally present in the United States. If a DACA recipient with an ID card, loses their DACA status and has no other form of legal status, they will not be able to renew or convert their ID card.

Can undocumented immigrants drive in New Jersey?

Phil Murphy signed it into law. New Jersey is the 15th state to open up driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, joining among others New York, Connecticut and California.

Can an illegal immigrant get a driver’s license in Arizona?

Jan Brewer’s executive order that denied licenses to young immigrants who avoided deportation under an Obama administration policy. PHOENIX (AP) – A judge has ruled Arizona cannot deny driver’s licenses to certain immigrants based on the state’s own judgment that they aren’t in the country legally.

Can an illegal immigrant register a car?

“Can an undocumented immigrant register a car in California?” No, they cannot.

Can you fly within the US if you are illegal?

Originally Answered: Can undocumented immigrants travel by air within the us? Yes, they can fly domestically within the US as long as they have a valid passport issued by their country of nationality. Foreign government-issued passports are accepted identification for TSA airport security checkpoints.

Can an illegal immigrant get a state ID in New York?

To get a non-driver ID, your need proof of US citizenship or lawful status. To apply for a New York State non-driver ID, you must show proof of United States citizenship or lawful status. If you cannot show this proof, we can not issue you a non-driver ID.

Can you get a Florida ID without a Social Security card?

Federal and State law requires proof of identity, Social Security number, and two (2) proofs of residential address for a Florida driver license or ID card.

Can you get a Texas driver’s license without a Social Security card?

Note: You do NOT need a Social Security card in order to apply for a Texas Driver’s License.

Can a non citizen get a driver license in Florida?

Non-U.S. citizens applying for an original driver license will be issued a 60-day temporary paper permit without a photo and a receipt. Upon identity and legal status verification, a driver license or ID card will be issued within 60 days and mailed to the address on the driver record.

States Offering Driver’s Licenses to Immigrants

California A 60 2013 This law requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue driver’s licenses to individuals who are ineligible for a Social Security number, if the required documentation is provided. Jan. 1, 2015
Colorado S 251 2013 This law allows individuals to qualify for a driver’s license, instruction permit or identification card, despite the individual not being lawfully present or being only temporarily lawfully present in the United States if certain conditions are met, such as providing state tax returns. Aug. 1, 2014
Connecticut H 6495 2013 This law provides driver’s licenses to applicants who submit a valid foreign passport or consular identification and proof of residency, regardless of legal presence in the United States. Applicants must file to legalize as soon as he or she is eligible Jan. 1, 2015
Delaware S 59 2015 This law creates the means for an undocumented immigrant to obtain a driving privilege card in Delaware. A driving privilege card or permit applicant must provide the state with satisfactory documentary evidence and that the applicant has filed a Delaware income tax return or resided in Delaware and been claimed as a dependent by an individual who has filed a state income tax return for the preceding two years. The card is not considered a valid form of identification due to the applicant’s inability to prove legal presence in the U.S. Dec. 27, 2015
Hawaii H 1007 2015 This law authorizes the issuance of driver’s licenses to residents of Hawaii who cannot provide proof of authorized presence in the United States. Applicants must provide satisfactory proof of identity and Hawaii residency. Jan. 1, 2016
Illinois S 957 2012 This law allows the Secretary of State to issue a temporary visitor’s driver’s license to an individual who has resided in Illinois for a specified time but is ineligible to obtain a Social Security number, and unable to prove lawful presence. A valid, unexpired foreign passport or consular identification document from their country of citizenship are acceptable forms of identification. Nov. 28, 2013
Maryland S 715 2013 This law authorizes the issuance of driver’s licenses to those who do not have lawful status or a valid Social Security number.New applicants must provide evidence that the applicant has filed two years of Maryland income tax returns or proof of residency or have been claimed as a dependent by an individual who has filed Maryland income tax returns.The licenses are not valid for Federal identification purposes. Jan. 1, 2014
New Jersey A4743 2019 This law creates a standard driver’s license or identification that does not require proof of lawful presence. The law prohibits the motor vehicle commission from disclosing information to any federal, state or local law enforcement agency for immigration purposes without the consent of the individual, a warrant, court order or subpoena, unless such restriction is contrary to federal law. The commission may not retain copies of documents submitted to establish eligibility for a license or identification card. June 1, 2020
New Mexico H 173 2003 This law allows the Department of Motor Vehicles to accept tax identification numbers as a substitute for a Social Security number regardless of immigration status. 2003
New York S 1747 2019 This law authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue standard drivers’ licenses and restricts what information can be retained and given out on those applying or holding licenses. June 17, 2019
New York A3675 2019 This legislation allows for the issuance of a driver’s license to undocumented residents and protects the data of those applying for such privilege from unwarranted release. The Department of Motor Vehicles may not disclose records to any agency that primarily enforces immigration law without a lawful court order or judicial warrant. The law requires that any person or entity that has access to information from the department to certify that the information will not be used for civil immigration purposes. Application forms for non-commercial drivers’ licenses and learners’ permits which do not meet federal standards for identification may not state: the documents an applicant used to prove age or identity; an applicant’s ineligibility for a social security number where applicable; or an applicant’s citizenship or immigration status. A non-commercial driver’s license or learner’s permit which does not meet federal standards for identification may not be used as evidence of a person’s citizenship or immigration status, and may not be the basis for investigating, arresting, or detaining a person. Such licenses must be visually identical to federal-purpose driver’s licenses except that such licenses may state “Not for Federal Purposes”. Dec. 14, 2019
Nevada S 303 2013 This law creates a driver’s authorization card and allows applicants, regardless of legal status, to provide birth certificates or passports issued by a foreign country as proof of identity. This law also prohibits the release of information relating to legal status for purposes relating to the enforcement of immigration laws. Jan. 1, 2014
Oregon H2015 2019 This law eliminates the requirement that a person provide proof of legal presence before the Department of Transportation issues a noncommercial driver license, noncommercial driver permit or identification card. Acceptable documents to prove identity, date of birth or address when a person is applying for a driver license, driver permit or identification card that is not a Real ID, a commercial driver license, or a commercial learner driver permit, include: (a) An unexpired valid passport from the person’s country of citizenship; (b) An unexpired valid consular identification document issued by the consulate of the person’s country of citizenship; (c) A driver license, driver permit or identification card issued by Oregon that expired less than 13 years before the current application; or (d) A driver license, driver permit or identification card issued by another state that is unexpired or expired less than a year before the current application. Aug. 9, 2019
Utah S 227 2005 This law establishes a one-year driving privilege card for unauthorized immigrants.Applicants without a Social Security number must prove Utah residency for six months and provide a tax identification number. The card is expressly prohibited from being used for any identification purposes by a governmental entity. March 8, 2005
Vermont S 38 2013 This law allows those Vermont residents unable to establish lawful presence in the United States to be eligible for a motor vehicle operator’s privilege card or alternate identification card. Jan. 1, 2014
Virginia HB 1211/SB 34 2020 This law creates a driving privilege card or permit for applicants who do not meet the requirements for a driver’s license or permit. The applicant must have reported income and deductions from Virginia sources, or been claimed as a dependent, on an individual income tax return filed in the preceding 12 months and may not be in violation of the insurance requirements. Applicants may not be required to present proof of legal presence in the United States. A driver privilege card or permit will expire on the applicant’s second birthday following the date of issuance. The front of a driver privilege card or permit must be identical in appearance to a driver’s license or permit that is not a REAL ID credential and the back of the card or permit must be identical in appearance to the restriction on the back of a limited-duration license, permit or special identification card. Jan. 1, 2021
Washington H 1444 1993 This law allows drivers license applicants without Social Security numbers to provide alternate documentation to show proof of residence in the state of Washington such as home utility bills and tax identification numbers. July 25, 1993
District of Columbia B 275 2013 This law creates a limited purpose driver’s license, permit, or identification card for a District resident who has not been assigned a Social Security number or cannot establish legal presence in the United States. May 1, 2014

States (and DC) That Allow Undocumented Immigrants to Obtain Driver’s Licenses

(as of the 26th of July, 2021) Undocumented immigrants in Nevada can get a driver’s permission card in the form of a sample. The card is distinguishable from driver’s licenses for legal residents by the wording “Not Valid for Identification” above the blue bar, which indicates that the card is not valid for identification. Undocumented immigrants are unable to obtain a driver’s license in most states because they do not have the proper documentation (such as a social security card). Undocumented immigrants have been able to get driver’s licenses in 16 states and the District of Columbia since 1993, when Washington state became the first.

See also:  How To Replace A Lost Georgia Driver'S License?

Undocumented inhabitants in several cities, such as San Francisco, CA, New Haven, CT, and Asbury Park, NJ, are issued picture identity cards by their municipal governments.

  1. California Date of Commencement: January 1, 2015.
  2. Chapter 524 of the Statutes of 2013 governs the law.
  3. Drivers without legal residence documentation (such as a social security number) will have a “recognizable characteristic” on their license to separate them from those who are legally able to drive in their state.
  4. It is not permitted to utilize the license for identifying reasons.
  5. SB 13-251 is the bill number.

5th of June, 2013 – Date of signature People who have filed Colorado state income taxes in the previous year and can show proof of current state residence, or who have an Individual Taxpayer ID and can show proof of 24 months of state residency, with a passport, consular ID, or military ID, are eligible for driver’s licenses under the new law, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue.

  • Connecticut Date of Commencement: January 1, 2015.
  • Public Act 13-89 is the law.
  • Those who have been convicted of a felony are barred from participating.
  • Delaware Date of entry into force: December 27, 2015.
  • Undocumented immigrants are permitted to get a “driving privilege card” under the terms of the legislation.
  • The card cannot be deemed to be a legitimate form of identification in any way.
  • Date of Commencement: May 1, 2014.

The license will be marked with the words “Not valid for official federal purposes.” The licenses may not be used “to determine an individual’s citizenship or immigration status, or as a basis for a criminal investigation, arrest, or imprisonment,” according to the law.

The law is codified in Act 172.

Undocumented immigrants are eligible to get driver’s licenses under the provisions of the legislation.

Illinois Date of entry into force: November 28, 2013.

Public Act 097-1157 is the law.

The applicant must have a valid passport or other form of consular identification to be considered.

It will not be accepted as identification and will be designated as such.

To differentiate it from other driver’s licenses and identity cards, the license must have a distinctive design or color.

Nevada Bill: SB 303Law: Chapter 282Effective Date: January 1, 2014 Bill: SB 303Law: Chapter 282Date Signed: May 31, 2013 The Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles is prohibited from disclosing information on a person’s legal status if that person is seeking for a driver’s license, according to state legislation.

  • License cards will have few identifying features and will not be utilized to assess eligibility for any benefits or entitlements.
  • Date of Commencement: May 1, 2021 Bill:A4743 PL 2019, CHAPTER 271 (Legislation) Date of signature: December 19, 2019 The law establishes two different sorts of licenses.
  • The second type of license is a Standard Basic license, which can be obtained by any New Jersey resident, regardless of immigration status.
  • New Mexico is a state in the United States.

Section 231 of Chapter 35 of the 1978 Revised Statutes Date of signature: March 18, 2003 According to the statute, applicants who do not have a social security number can instead present an individual tax identification number or other document specified by the department, “regardless of immigrant status.” New York is the capital of the United States.

  • The Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act (Bill A3675BLaw) was signed into law on June 17, 2019.
  • The law also broadens the types of documents that can be used as proof of identity, including but not limited to an unexpired foreign passport, a foreign driver’s license that has been expired for less than 24 months, and a consular identification document.
  • Instead of presenting a social security number, the driver may sign an affidavit stating that they have not been issued a social security number.
  • Oregon Date of Commencement: August 9, 2019.
  • Residents will no longer be required to present proof of lawful residency in order to receive a license under the new rule.
  • Utah Date of Commencement: March 8, 2005 SB 227 is the bill number.

When compared to a conventional driver’s license, the card is distinguishable by its format, color, or other visual features, and it is conspicuously labelled with the words “FOR DRIVING PRIVILEGES ONLY–NOT VALID FOR IDENTIFICATION.” The card cannot be used for government identification purposes and has a one-year expiration date.

  1. 603 of the Vermont Statutes.
  2. Virginia Date of commencement: January 1, 2021 Bill number: HB 1211/SB 34 Date of signature: April 22, 2020 For those who do not meet the requirements for a drivers license, the law establishes a separate drivers permit for them.
  3. On the front, the card will appear just like a driver’s license, and on the reverse, it will look exactly like a limited-duration license.
  4. Washington Date of Commencement: July 25, 1993 HB 1444 is the bill number.
  5. On May 17, 1993, I signed this document.
  6. Other papers may also be taken into consideration.
  7. 4, 2018) State legislatures in the United States are offering driver’s licenses to immigrants, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (ncsl.org), which was published on February 8, 2021.

nilc.org, accessed February 2014 New York Times reporter Kirk Semple wrote on May 16, 2010, “In Trenton, Issuing IDs for Illegal Immigrants,” that the state of New Jersey is issuing identification cards to illegal immigrants.

How to Get a Driver’s License as an Undocumented Immigrant

In the absence of broad federal changes, states have taken on immigration law one problem at a time, a practice known as state-led reform. This covers the licensing of drivers who are unable to demonstrate their legal presence in the country. In reality, ten states have passed legislation in the previous three years to extend driving privileges and identification cards to so-called illegal immigrants living in their jurisdictions. Other states, on the other hand, have enacted new (or maintained existing) prohibitions on such limited licenses.


Prior to 1990, no state needed proof of legal status in order to receive a driver’s license. According to the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators’ 2014 report, the number of states that provide full-privilege driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants has declined from 25 to two since 2003. As a result of the Real ID Act of 2005, which required states to need extra paperwork for residents seeking for licenses, the number of people applying for licenses decreased over time. This corresponded with the act’s intended — but frequently postponed — enforcement.

Now more states are introducing restricted driver’s licenses

Many states began providing limited licenses to its inhabitants, regardless of whether or not they could provide proof of their legal status in the nation at the time of application. There are now 10 jurisdictions (including Washington, D.C.) that have or will have a limited form of driver’s licenses available to illegal immigrants, except from New Mexico and Washington, which are the two states that still give standard licenses to undocumented immigrants.

What kind of licenses are available and where?

The map below shows that, despite the fact that 10 states and the District of Columbia have already begun offering driving privileges, the degree of privilege varies from one state to the next: an unrestricted license is the same license that Americans already have in their wallets; driving privilege-only licenses can’t be used for any other purpose; and driving-privilege licenses can be used as identification in the state where the license was issued.

Aside from Washington and New Mexico, five of the twelve states that provide driving privileges (including Delaware and Hawaii, which are planned to approve legislation in 2016) also permit the use of the license as a form of identification inside the state.

Status of states with higher undocumented immigrant populations

California and other states with large immigrant populations are shown in the graph below in terms of introducing and adopting legislation that is either in favor of or against a restricted-license option for drivers. Their current status is divided into four categories: those who have passed a ban on such licenses (Ban); those who have presented a bill for such licenses (Introduced); those who have had the bill sent to a committee (Sent to a Committee); and those who have passed the bill (Passed) (Passed).

Another important point is that 11 of the 15 states are either working on or have already approved legislation granting drivers’ privileges.

Driving-privilege laws draw bipartisan support in state legislatures

The map below illustrates the current political leanings of each of the legislatures of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, including whether Democrats or Republicans were elected to a majority in the legislatures at the time the map was created. It also shows that legislation has received support from both political parties. Thirteen states have enacted legislation supporting driving privileges (“Y” for “Yes”); 29 states have passed legislation opposing driving privileges (“N” for “No”); and six states are working on legislation supporting or opposing driving privileges (“P” for “Proposed”).

Driving-privilege laws passed by states (and D.C.) since 2010

Since 2010, new legislation pertaining to driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants have been signed into law in sixteen states and the District of Columbia, representing a diverse range of immigrant populations and political leanings. In all, they passed 15 new laws, 11 of which were enabling legislation for driving privilege permits. Each of the 11 measures was drafted (or sponsored) by Democrats or Democratic-dominated coalitions. In contrast, three of the four laws prohibiting the possession of a driver’s license were written or co-authored by a Republican member of Congress.

State Number of U.I.* Bill For/Against Driving Privilege Primary Sponsor Enacted
Hawaii 35,000 H 1007 FOR Rep. Henry J.C. Aquino (D) 30-Jun-15
Delaware 20,000 S 59 FOR Sen. Bryan Townsend (D) 12-Jun-15
Indiana 85,000 H 1393 AGAINST Rep. Edmond Soliday (R) 4-May-15
Nebraska 55,000 L 623 AGAINST Rep. Jeremy Nordquist (R) 17-Mar-15
District of Columbia 20,000 B 812 FOR Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) 17-Jun-14
Connecticut 130,000 H 6495 FOR Rep. Ezequiel Santiago (D) 3-Oct-13
Nevada 210,000 S 303 FOR Asm. Elliot T. Anderson (D) and 9 others 6-Jun-13
Colorado 180,000 S 251 FOR Sen. Jessie Ulibarri (D) and Sen. John Morse (D) 5-Jun-13
California 2,450,000 A 60 FOR Asm. Luis Alejo (D) and 11 others 4-Jun-13
North Dakota 5,000 S 2039 AGAINST Committee 29-May-13
Oregon 120,000 H 2517 FOR** Reps. Brian L. Clem (D) and Vicki Berger (R) 28-May-13
Maryland 250,000 S 715 FOR Sen. Victor R. Ramirez (D) and 14 others 2-May-13

Display All Rows in a Table

  • *According to a 2014 research by the Pew Research Center
  • **According to a ballot proposition rejected by voters

Issuance rates of driving-privilege licenses

Undocumented immigrants should be aware that simply because they live in a place where driving permission cards are available does not imply that they will be issued them immediately. The graphic below, which is based on data from each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles or Department of Revenue, shows that illegal immigrants must wait in line to obtain their driving permission permits in every state except Alaska. In California, for example, within the first three months of the law’s existence, 91 percent of the 493,998 people who applied possessed the appropriate documentation to acquire a license without additional examination; nevertheless, only 40 percent of those who applied actually obtained their licenses.

There were four states that scored worse than the national average: Colorado (46 percent), Illinois (45 percent), Nevada (34 percent), Connecticut (32 percent), and Maryland (17 percent).

Side-by-side comparison of unrestricted, restricted licenses

State driving privilege licenses must include the fine print, which is a mix of the terms “federal limitations apply” and “state limits apply” in order to be compliant with the Real ID Act. Simply put, limited licenses must be distinguished from unrestricted licenses in appearance since they have less powers than unrestricted licenses. Only a slight distinction can be discerned between limited and unrestricted licenses in seven of the nine states that provide both options. Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., and California, a limited license issued to an illegal immigrant cannot be utilized by police enforcement as a cause for challenging that individual’s legal status in the nation.

See also:  What Do I Need To Renew Driver'S License In Missouri? (Solved)

Undocumented immigrants can get licenses. ICE can get their data.

9 minutes are allotted for reading. Every evening, as Mayra Raymundo travels to work, she incessantly checks her rearview mirror to make sure everything is in order. She is scared that a police officer will stop her and discover that she does not have a driver’s license or auto insurance. She would be forced to declare that she is illegal, putting her life in danger of deportation to Guatemala. Raymundo, a 31-year-old cleaning crew member at a private school near Providence, Rhode Island, works nights.

  1. Raymundo claims that she is unable to sustain her two young girls because she does not have access to a vehicle.
  2. If not, then no,” Raymundo answered, adding that if she had a driver’s license, she would be able to get work at a restaurant that paid $15 an hour.
  3. For more than a decade, politicians in Rhode Island have attempted to enact this legislation.
  4. This eliminates the possibility of being arrested for driving without a license, which is a common way to expedite deportation.
  5. The watchdog did its job.
  6. Please sign up to get our Watchdog newsletter.
  7. According to a Center for Public Integrity study, at least seven states have exchanged personal information from drivers with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement since January 2020.
  8. Other times, they are looking for specific individuals’ residences and driving records.
  9. Some immigrant rights organizations are now questioning if it is too perilous for illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses in the United States.

” “A lot of people in our communities stated, ‘I’m not going to take the chance.’ I’m not going to renew because I don’t want to risk getting deported merely to drive.”

Some states verify ICE’s requests. Many do not.

In an effort to improve how they handle requests from ICE, Public Integrity reached out to every county that permits unauthorized persons to drive the process. Their laws or internal rules differed greatly, and some were unwilling to provide explanations. For the most part, no proof is required that ICE investigations are connected to criminal behavior rather than civil immigration breaches. When petitions come in citing child exploitation, drug trafficking, or other similar investigations, some states grant them without question, taking the information at its value.

  1. At least two other states, California and Hawaii, have passed legislation specifically forbidding motor vehicle agencies from exchanging information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that is purely devoted to immigration enforcement.
  2. Furthermore, ICE stated that it does not target people for deportation based on their license information.
  3. Advocacy groups also believe that jurisdictions will be unable to be certain that the agency will not utilize driver’s license data to seek down illegal immigrants who have not committed any crimes.
  4. Who knows.” In California, for example, a spokeswoman for the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) stated that ICE “must agree” not to utilize personal information for immigration enforcement.
  5. When it comes to Utah, which has a regulation identical to the federal approach, Comunidades Unidas’ Cedano says that growing worry about what the government would do with the information has discouraged some illegal immigrants from applying for driving permission cards.

A Utah driving permission card on the left, and a Utah driver’s license on the right are seen here (Getty Images, left; Utah Department of Public Safety, right) ICE is only allowed to share information with Delaware and Vermont’s motor vehicle departments for the purpose of immigration enforcement in those states.

  1. There is no need to make a request.
  2. The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services in Maryland sent that question to ICE’s parent organization, the Department of Homeland Security, for further investigation.
  3. Over the course of a year and a half, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency accessed Maryland’s law enforcement database, which contains personal information on drivers.
  4. Maryland did not specify how many of these events used driver’s license data, instead forwarding the inquiry to Homeland Security for more clarification.

It irritates me that individuals will have to think about data, that their information might be provided to ICE, and that they will be forced to comply “According to Juan Manuel Guzman, state advocacy director of the youth-led immigrant rights organization United We Dream, “We have a dream.” Obtaining his license in Maryland was possible for illegal immigrants as of 2014, when the state authorized them to do so.

“He said that if you allow agencies – whether it’s the FBI or the Central Intelligence Agency – full license and unrestrained authority, they may sift through massive amounts of data and utilize it in potentially harmful ways. “I believe that to be highly alarming.””

ICE pursues drivers’ information

Increasingly, as more states legalized the driving of illegal immigrants, federal immigration officials began approaching state motor vehicle departments for assistance in identifying someone in a photograph or to determine whether someone was living under an assumed name. Between 2015 and 2019, according to a Washington Post investigation, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the FBI made thousands of facial recognition requests to state motor vehicle agencies. Hundreds of searches were flagged as having generated a “possible match” in the state of Utah alone.

  • In May 2020, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a report stating that it has a policy prohibiting agents seeking face recognition searches unless the searches are for persons suspected of criminal behavior.
  • In 2004, around 150 people marched in support of a measure that would have granted illegal immigrants the ability to qualify for a driver’s license in California.
  • He stated that the government does not issue these inquiries only for the purpose of identifying people for deportation.
  • In September 2020, the Connecticut Intelligence Center, which holds personal data from the state’s department of motor vehicles, received a request from ICE for an individual’s address history, criminal history, traffic violation history, and an image.
  • The request was turned down by the center.
  • The request was turned down by the department.
  • Other states, such as Maryland and Oregon, are unable to provide an answer because of a lack of information.
  • Curt Bramble, a Republican from Utah who supported legislation to give driving privilege cards in that state in 2005.

As Bramble said, “there is a reason why the legal word ‘illegal immigrant’ is used in the United States Code.” “The individuals have made the decision to break our immigration rules.” – He claims that no advocates have ever approached him to voice their dissatisfaction with the information sharing with ICE.

Nick Street, the public information officer for the Utah Department of Public Safety, initially told Public Integrity that ICE agents had sought information exclusively for immigration enforcement at least twice in 2021, and that DPS had accepted their requests on both occasions.

They were among over 230 information requests from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that were approved by the public safety department in the previous year and a half.

Better lives, more money

There are several economic benefits to allowing unauthorized persons to get driver’s licenses: Vehicles and other large-ticket products, such as houses, are more likely to be purchased by licensed drivers. A greater number of automobiles are registered and insured. Undocumented workers can contribute more to the economy if they have more access to better employment and are able to travel to them. According to a 2016 analysis by Roger Williams University’s School of Law and Latino Policy Institute, poverty falls at a quicker pace in states that implement these measures, particularly in rural areas.

  • His wife’s spouse, Rosendo Martinez, works as a gardener and has recently obtained his driving permit card.
  • Through an interpreter, Reyes said that he now makes $200 each day.
  • It takes an hour to travel to the first residence of the day because she doesn’t have a driver’s license yet and has rely on her employer to transport her and up to five other ladies there in a single vehicle.
  • The prospect of passing her driving safety course and launching her own cleaning service excites her.
  • Using an interpreter, Castillo stated, “My time does not belong to me.” “It’s almost as if I don’t have any feet.” Castillo will no longer be reliant on $14 cab trips to and from evening English courses four days a week after she has learned to drive.
  • “It will be like winning the jackpot when I am able to drive myself and my kid everywhere we need to go,” she says.
  • During the nights, Guzman, the undocumented advocate who obtained his driver’s license in Maryland, explained that he was allowed to drive to a community college and study English.

“It’ll be like winning the lotto when I’m able to drive myself and my son anywhere we need to go,” says the author.

“My family works in construction and home cleaning, and being able to free ourselves from sometimes unpleasant bosses has been a fantastic experience,” Guzman explained.

In April 2020, when Democrats retook control of the legislature, the measure was ultimately enacted, and it entered into force in January.

According to Monica Sarmiento, executive director of the Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights, the law was sponsored to assure that illegal farmworkers could continue to produce food for the state.

When the bill was finally enacted, advocates erupted in joy.

The General Assembly leadership, according to Alejandro, of the ACLU People Power Fairfax, was not in support of such limits at the time of the vote.

Support Public Integrity

We are unable to complete this task without your assistance. Legislature enacted a data protection statute on its own in March, and it became effective the following month. It is possible that the law in Rhode Island would have featured some of the most stringent data-sharing limitations in the country. In accordance with the statute, state agencies were banned from disclosing information to immigration officials unless ICE could obtain an arrest warrant or an order from a court of law. Despite a 28-10 vote in support of allowing unauthorized immigrants to drive in Rhode Island’s Senate, House leadership determined that they would not take up the issue before the session concluded in June.

Raymundo, on the other hand, needs to get to work right away.

Clarification: On July 14, at 5:15 p.m., the following was stated: This item originally featured a table that did not define the terms “driver data” and “DMV records.” This has since been corrected.

Help support this work

Public Integrity does not have paywalls and does not take advertising in order for our investigative reporting to have the broadest possible impact on tackling inequality in the United States of America. Our work is only made possible because of the generosity of people like you.


In the United States, immigrants who do not have the necessary legal documentation for residency may be subjected to considerable limitations. In order to do so, you must first obtain an identity card or a driver’s license. According to the Social Security number assigned to a person, these documents are provided by each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Because an illegal immigrant does not have access to Social Security, it is conceivable that they will be unable to submit an application.

Changing Laws Surrounding Driver’s Licenses

Many state legislators feel that acquiring a driver’s license ensures greater safety for all drivers and pedestrians on the roads. Undocumented immigrants would benefit from the availability of a driver’s license since it would enable them to cope more realistically and safely with their everyday activities. Things like sending their children to school and purchasing a car insurance policy will become easier and safer as a result of this change. Furthermore, they might receive training on the traffic laws of the state in which they reside, pass their theoretical driving exam, and then demonstrate their practical driving abilities to demonstrate that they understand the state’s traffic laws.

See also:  What Is There To Do In Seward Alaska?

Some States Do Allow Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants

According to the most recent public opinion in favor of collective security, certain states in the United States have decided to enable illegal immigrants to get a special driver’s license. Undocumented individuals are not entitled to the benefits of a driver’s license under federal law, which is why they cannot obtain one.

Only a few states permit the possession of a driver’s license, and each state has its own set of restrictions. In many instances, a foreign driver’s license as well as an International Tax Identification Number (ITIN) are required.

Common Features of Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants

Undocumented immigrants who get a driver’s license are subject to specific limitations, which vary depending on the state in which they reside. In general, practically every state takes into consideration the following factors:

  • Licenses are only useful for two things: driving and purchasing insurance. They do not permit the receipt of federal funds. As part of their efforts to meet the requirements of the Real ID Act, several states have imposed usage restrictions on their special licenses. The design and look of these licenses are distinct from one another. Unlike ordinary licenses, they state “not valid for identification,” “not valid for federal identification, voting, or public benefits purposes,” among other things. Their use as a document that guarantees you permanent legal residency or citizenship is not permissible. It is against the law to use them to vote in elections in the United States. Their use as a legitimate document for travel on a commercial airline is forbidden
  • They do not exempt anybody from taking the theoretical and practical driving tests
  • And they do not grant entrance to a federal facility.

What States Give Driver’s Licenses to Undocumented Immigrants?

Undocumented immigrants are subject to a variety of state regulations, including those governing driver’s licenses and the necessity for a REAL ID. At present moment, not all states have legislation that are applicable.

State Law Approval Date Regulations of the Law Effective Date
California AB 60Chapter 524 2013 You must prove that you are a resident of the state of California and that you do not qualify for a Social Security number. The license says, “federal limits apply.” Jan. 1, 2015
Colorado SB 13-251Session 42-2-104 2013 You must verify your identity with a passport or consular ID, have filed your taxes with the state during the year before applying for the license, or have your taxpayer identification number and prove that you lived the last 24 months in the state. The license says “not valid for federal identification, voting, or public benefits purposes.” Aug. 1, 2014
Connecticut H 6495Public Act 1389 2013 You have to verify your identity with your passport or consular registration and prove your residence in the state of Connecticut. In addition, you must submit an affidavit stating that your immigration status will be legalized as soon as you are eligible. The document is not valid as proof of identity and is issued for 3 to 6 years. The license says “not for federal identification.” Jan. 1, 2015
Delaware S 592711 Title 21 2015 The law allows undocumented immigrants to have a card with driving privileges. The applicant must prove that they have filed their taxes or are a dependent of someone who has filed their taxes with the state in the last two years. The card says “driving privilege only – not valid for identification.” Dec. 27, 2015
District of Columbia (D.C.) B20-275Driver Safety Amendment 2013 The law in this state allows a driver’s card valid for eight years to anyone who can prove that they are a D.C. resident for more than six months, who does not have a Social Security number, and who can prove their ID. May 1, 2014
Hawaii H 1007 2015 This state grants a driver’s license to individuals who cannot prove their legal stay in the country. Applicants must provide some proof of identity and proof of state residency. The document says “not acceptable for official federal purposes.” Jan. 1, 2016
Illinois S 0957 2013 Illinois law provides a temporary license for visitors who do not qualify for a Social Security number, have resided in Illinois for more than one year, and cannot show legal documents about their stay in the country. The applicant must show with their application a valid passport or consular registration number. The license is valid for 3 years and it says “not valid for identification.” Nov. 28, 2013
Maryland SB 715 2013 It allows individuals without a Social Security number to have a license if they have filed their taxes or are the dependent of someone who has filed taxes with the state in the last two years. The license is a different color from the ones legal residents carry and says “not acceptable for federal purposes.” Jan. 1, 2014
Nevada SB 303 2013 This state issues a one-year driver’s card for those who do not have a valid Social Security number and regardless of their legal status. The applicant must prove their identity with a birth certificate or passport. The card differs from the official driver’s license and says “not valid for identification.” Jan. 1, 2014
New Jersey A4743(p.21) 2019 The law mandates two types of documents. One is the Real ID under federal guidelines, and the other is a standard driver’s license that any New Jersey resident can obtain without discrimination based on immigration status. It is also prohibited to disclose the personal information of those who have the standard driver’s license for immigration-related purposes unless there is authorization from the individual. Jan. 1, 2021
New Mexico H 173 2003 The applicant must present a taxpayer identification number if they do not have a Social Security number to obtain their standard driver’s license, regardless of their status of legal permanence. The document says “not valid for federal purposes.” 2003
New York A3675 2019 New York law establishes that no person or public entity may disclose the information of an applicant for a driver’s license to be used for purposes of determining their immigration status. The applicant must provide proof of identity, such as a valid passport or a driver’s license from their country of origin with less than 24 months of expiration or the consular registration number. But they do not need to prove immigration status, and if they do not have a Social Security number, they must provide an affidavit stating that one has not been assigned. The license is not a REAL ID; therefore, it does not meet federal requirements. Dec. 14, 2019
Oregon HB 2015 2019 The law eliminated the requirement to prove the legality of immigration status to have a driver’s license. However, the applicant must prove identity with a passport, or consular registration, or license from her country of origin, or license issued by another state. The license is standard, and it is not the REAL ID. Therefore it does not comply with federal requirements. Aug. 9, 2019
Utah S 227 2005 This state issues a special card with driving privileges valid for one year. The applicant must prove that they are a resident of the state of Utah for at least six months and provide a taxpayer number. The card says “not valid for identification driving privilege only.” Mar. 8, 2005
Vermont S 38 2013 State law allows an immigrant without legal status in the country to obtain a special driving document called an operator privilege card. To apply, proof of identity must be provided through a valid passport, birth certificate, consular registration, or marriage certificate. You also have to prove that you are a resident of the state. The document says, “driver’s privilege card not for federal identification.” Jan. 1, 2014
Washington H 1444 1993 The applicant must prove that they are a state resident by presenting a bill for their services, or documents from the school, or university. They must also prove their identity. The card says “driver’s license – federal limits apply.” July 25, 1993

Speak to an Experienced Immigration Attorney Today

Every detail matters when it comes to immigration and whether or not you will be able to live and work anywhere you desire. The importance of doing things correctly the first time cannot be overstated when even the smallest paperwork error or missed deadline may result in years of delays. An competent immigration lawyer can handle your specific demands in the context of immigration and put you in the best possible position for a successful conclusion. Get started right away by speaking with a local immigration attorney to explore your legal options and personal circumstances.

Your Next Step:

You may be connected with a skilled Immigration attorney right away by entering your location below.

Additional Immigration Articles

  • Immigration Overview
  • Immigration Law
  • U.S. Citizenship Fundamentals
  • The Immigration Process
  • U.S. Visa Overview
  • U.S. Visa Application Process
  • Is it legal for me to work in the United States if I am not a citizen or permanent resident? Green Cards, which provide permanent residence
  • Overstaying your visa is a serious offense. ‘Widow’s Penalty’ Law and New Laws for Widowers in the Case of Immigration
  • Crossing the border into the United States
  • Illegal re-entry into the United States How do I go about obtaining an immigrant visa so that I can settle in this country permanently? The Immigration Removal Process
  • Do I Need a Visa to Travel Abroad
  • Learn how to obtain immigration assistance that is either low-cost or completely free
  • Whether or not you need a certified attorney to assist you with your immigration paperwork
  • And more. Is it possible for an immigration attorney to expedite my case? What Happens When You Divorce a U.S. Citizen Before Becoming a U.S. Citizen
  • What Are the Requirements a Foreign National Must Meet in Order to Visit the United States
  • What Happens When You Divorce a U.S. Citizen Before Becoming a U.S. Citizen
  • What Happens When You Divorce Do I really need to disclose all of the details of my criminal history, even if the charge against me has been dismissed? Do I really need to disclose all of the details of my criminal history, even if the charge against me has been dismissed? Do I really need to disclose all of the details of my criminal history, even if the charge against me has been dismissed? What Are The Consequences If I Don’t Do What Is Required
  • In order to visit the United States, a foreign national must meet certain requirements. But what if I want to live and work in the United States and my family is already residing in the country? Is it possible for immigrants to qualify for federal programs? How Do I Bring My Spouse to the United States? What to Expect During an Immigration Interview
  • What Not to Do
  • Is It Legal for Me to Travel If I Do Not Have Documents? Exactly why it is a bad idea to hire an immigration ‘Notario,’ or notary public
  • The Consequences of Claiming to Be a Citizen of the United States if You Are Not
  • A new FAQ on immigrant voting rights
  • How Can I Assist a Loved One Who Is Detained at an Immigration Detention Facility
  • Instructions on How to Withdraw Money from Your Bank Account If You Have Been Deported
  • If you are arrested for entering the United States without a visa, you have several options. Questions and Answers on Immigration Visas and Non-Immigration Visas
  • Questions on the Citizenship Examination
  • Temporary Work Visas
  • Immigration Scams and Fraud
  • Requirements for Permanent Residence
  • Temporary Work Visas

Related Topics In This Section

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *