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Virginia’s DMV is preparing to accept and process drivers license applications from residents who don’t live here legally. A new law permits it as of January, and DMV is working to reach Hispanics in advance. It’s estimated that 300,000 undocumented immigrants in Virginia will qualify for what are called driver privilege cards. More from WFIR’s Evan Jones.

NEWS RELEASE: RICHMOND – Beginning January 2, 2021, Virginians may apply for a driver privilege card at the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Applications will be accepted by appointment only; appointments can be made at dmvNOW.com/appt.

This change in Virginia law, authorized by the Virginia General Assembly, creates a driving credential for individuals who are non-U.S. citizens and cannot meet Virginia’s legal presence requirements, making them ineligible to receive a standard or REAL ID-compliant driver’s license in Virginia.

Customers may be eligible to obtain a driver privilege card if they meet the following criteria:

  • are a non-U.S. citizen who is a resident of Virginia
  • have reported income from Virginia sources or are claimed as a dependent on a tax return filed in Virginia in the past 12 months
  • do not have a driving privilege that is currently suspended or revoked in Virginia or any other state, to include insurance-related infractions

“We are pleased to offer this new credential to give thousands of tax-paying Virginians the opportunity to drive legally on our roadways, something they previously have not been able to do,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb. “Like applicants for any driving credential, driver privilege card applicants must prepare for their visit by gathering necessary documents and studying for all required testing. A good place to start is the DMV webpage dedicated to this new credential, dmvNOW.com/dpc.”

In order to obtain a driver privilege card in Virginia, the following documents must be provided:

  • Two proofs of identity (e.g., foreign passport and Consular identification document issued by country of citizenship)
  • Two proofs of Virginia residency (e.g., monthly mortgage statement and utility bill)
  • Proof of Social Security number (if one has been issued) or the individual’s taxpayer identification number (e.g., W-2 form or ITIN letter)
  • Tax return documentation (e.g. Virginia Resident Form, Virginia Part-Year Resident Income Tax Return Form or Virginia Nonresident Income Tax Return Form, filed in the past 12 months)

All documents must be originals and are subject to verification, however; printouts of approved online residency documents may be accepted.

The steps to obtain a driver privilege card vary based on a customer’s licensed driving history. Applicants will be required to pass a vision screening. DMV encourages those eligible to make an appointment for the new year, study and prepare for applicable tests atdmvNOW.com, and organize the documents necessary to obtain a driver privilege card. An interactive document guide, available on DMV’s website, helps to prepare customers for their visit.