Important Update from NCDOT: Declaratory Ruling on issuance of drivers’ licenses for non-citizens

The NC Department of Transportation has issued a Declaratory Ruling, allowing non-citizens, under certain classifications, to receive full-term drivers’ licenses for the same duration as that of US citizens.

Preceding this ruling, the Division of Motor Vehicles would issue drivers’ licenses for the same duration as that of immigration documentation presented and would not renew drivers’ licenses if the immigration documents were expired, without considering that expired documents do not always correlate with the legal status of the applicant.

Now, it has been decided that “… an expiration date listed on immigration documents for those classified as lawful permanent residents and or who hold an immigration classification of indefinite duration is not determinative of legal presence in the United States.” Therefore, DOT acknowledges that non-citizens under these categories do not always require a driver license of shorter duration and will be issued full-term drivers’ licenses, “assuming all other conditions of issuance are met.” “Nonimmigrants who are temporarily present in the United States for tourism, business, temporary work, or study, will continue to be evaluated on an individual basis, including consideration of whether the nonimmigrant has applied for an adjustment of status.”

The Declaratory Ruling will be implemented through the Division of Motor Vehicles, which will continue to employ SAVE, the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements, a program for document verification of non-citizen applicants.

To read more on NCDOT Declaratory Ruling, please click on Declaratory ruling DMV 2023

Categories: Immigration Blog