Undocumented immigrants in the State of Virginia can, as of this Monday, apply for a license to drive a vehicle when a law passed in 2020 by the state Legislature takes effect.
“We need an identification document to buy a car, to rent an apartment, to open a bank account, to pick up a prescription, and even to enroll our children in school,” said Representative Elizabeth Guzmán.
With this law, Virginia joins 15 other states that allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a license to drive motor vehicles, and an estimated 300,000 people qualify to receive it.
According to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the other states are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia, where the country’s capital is located.
“This new law will allow undocumented Virginians to participate more fully in our communities,” added the Democratic legislator, who was one of the promoters of the legislation.
“Many of our undocumented neighbors have worked to keep Virginia running during the pandemic, and giving them the dignity of a state-issued identity document sends the message that their contributions are considered and valued, ” he added.
This license can be applied for by undocumented aliens who have resided in Virginia for at least 12 months, present documentation of regular income from jobs in the state, or are dependents on a tax return.
The process costs $ 50 and applicants must present two identity documents that can be passports or consular documents, and two proofs of their residency in Virginia such as a rental contract or home mortgage loan, or utility bills such as water or electricity.