by John Polivick, Esq.
It would have been the right thing to do for Florida governor Rick Scott to sign into law a bill that was approved by 98.7% of the Florida legislature. The bill would give DACA children at least a temporary Florida drivers license. Indeed, of the 151 votes cast in the House and Senate, only 2 voted against it (the legislators who introduced the bill promised to bring it up again…perhaps a new governor will approve it by then). It would have given drivers licenses to the DACA children, also known as the dreamers. But despite the idiotic, inexplicable veto of the bill by Scott, it turns out that non immigrants can still get a Florida Drivers License anyway. It requires that one obtain a federal Employment Authorization Document (EAD), more commonly known as a work permit. If you or someone you know fits into this category, you may want to look into it.
The following is from the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles website:
Non Immigrants that apply for a Florida drivers license or ID card must provide the Proof of Social Security Number and 2 Proofs of Residential address desribed above.
As a Non Immigrant you must provide one original or certified copy of the following Identification documents:
- Employment authorization card issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security (Form I688B or I-766); or
- Proof of nonimmigrant classification provided by United States Department of Homeland Security (Form I-94, not expired, with required supporting attachment(s).
If in doubt regarding required documents, please bring all of your US BCIS documentation with you.). I-94s must be accompanied by a Passport. Certain classifications require additional documentation. Some examples are:
F-1 and M-1 classification must also be accompanied by an I-20.
I J-1 or J-2 designation must be accompanied by an DS2019.
Refugee, asylee and parolee classifications must be accompanied by additional documentation.
- I-571 Travel Document/Refugee Travel Permit**
- I-512 Parole Letter Accepted**
- IJO- Asylum or Cancellation of Removal – Immigration Judges Order granting Asylum or Cancellation of Removal.**
** These documents will only be accepted with a supporting document, including but not limited to a Passport, Florida Driver License or Identification Card, Driver License from any other state, Employment Authorization Card, Employer Identification, Identification from home country, Identification from school or college, Social Security Card (Chapter 322, Florida Statutes, requires the Department to see proof of social security number for the issuance of driver license and identification cards) or other US BCIS document.
All required and supporting documents MUST be original or certified.
Documents must be valid for more than 30 days from the date of issuance.
Non-U.S. citizens applying for an original driver license will be issued a 30-day, no photo, paper temporary permit and a receipt. Non-U.S. citizens applying for an identification card will be issued a receipt.
All records are transmitted to our database in Tallahassee, where the information will be examined and run against FDLE, FBI and US BCIS databases.
Upon identity and legal status verification, a driver license or identification card will be issued within 30 days from Tallahassee, mailed to the address on the driver record. The license or identification card will be issued for the period of time specified on the US BCIS document, up to a maximum of one year.
If a problem is detected, a denial of issuance letter will be mailed to the customer.