Monday, November 15, 2010

AG Cuccinelli opinion on issuance of driver’s licenses to non citizens

Attorney General opinion in a nutshell: DMV can choose not to giveth but they can’t taketh away.  Press release:

RICHMOND (November 15, 2010) – Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued an official opinion Friday informing the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that it is not required to accept federal work permit cards as proof of lawful presence in the United States for the purpose of issuing a driver’s license, permit, or special identification card. The Employment Authorization Document, also known as an “EAD” or a “work permit,” is for individuals who are temporarily in the United States and seeking employment.

The opinion was in response to a request from Virginia DMV Commissioner Richard Holcomb. Virginia law requires applicants for drivers’ licenses, permits, and ID cards to present documentation showing they are lawfully present in the United States. The law does not spell out which documents an applicant can rely upon to establish lawful presence. Therefore, the opinion concludes that the DMV has the authority and the discretion to decide which documents are appropriate.

With respect to the Employment Authorization Document, the opinion states that the commissioner was within his discretion to discontinue using it to establish lawful presence. As the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia concluded in a prior unrelated case – and the federal government also acknowledges – an EAD does not necessarily prove that a person is lawfully residing in the United States.

The opinion further concludes that the DMV is not authorized under Virginia law to cancel a driver’s license once a person has ceased to be lawfully present in the United States; for example, when a person is ordered deported or has been deported. A change in the law would be required to authorize the DMV to take the step of canceling a driver’s license in those situations.

The opinion can be found HERE

Additional information  DMV’s website is HERE.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Politics, State Politics

Tags: , , ,

Comments (1)

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Valerie Garner, Dan Letovsky. Dan Letovsky said: RT @ValerieInRke: Roanoke Free Press: AG Cuccinelli opinion on issuance of driver’s licenses to non citizens […]

Comments are not moderated. Notify any abuse at put ABUSE in the subject and the offensive post.

Leave a Reply