How possible is it to get a driver’s license in Texas if you are undocumented?

Not all states in the United States issue driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants.

Not all states in the United States issue driver鈥檚 licenses to undocumented immigrants.

Photo: Bas Peperzak/Unsplash

Texas is one of the states in the country that does not allow undocumented immigrants to have a license. Unlike California, New York, Florida and more than a dozen states where it is already common, in Texas there is no approved state law that justifies the granting of the driving privilege under this immigration status. However, there are already bills promoted by senators and representatives that pursue this goal, such as the bill HB 1058.

This initiative 鈥攑resented with the intention that people who cannot provide proof of legal presence in the country have access to new opportunities鈥 also seeks to reduce the tendency to drive illegally, a crime that is widely recorded in the country and that may be, due to immigration restrictions, even more recurrent in states like Texas.

According Cars in USAto the initiative HB 1058, presented in the Texas House of Representatives, is added the measure SB 602 presented in the Senate, both with the same intention: provide undocumented immigrants with a driver鈥檚 license similar to the one granted in other states that have already approved similar measures. Therefore, the day one of these two initiatives becomes law, it is likely that undocumented immigrants who apply for a driver鈥檚 license in Texas will have to consider certain details:

1. The laws that grant the privilege of driving to undocumented immigrants in the United States provide the opportunity to access a document that, more than a license, turns out to be a kind of driving license, since it only authorizes its bearer to operate A vehicle. At the federal level, these types of documents have many limitsas they cannot be used as a valid form of identification.

2. During the application process, the requirement of proof of legal status in the United States is waived and priority is given to documents that prove identity and residence in the state. Applicants may also be instructed to schedule an appointment prior to applying, both to facilitate the process and to protect their data.

Driver鈥檚 licenses for undocumented immigrants do not represent or guarantee any improvement in the legal status of immigrants who request them. They are simply granted 鈥攊n the states where it is allowed鈥 to facilitate access for this sector of the population not only to transportation but also to other benefits, such as insurance for the car they drive. However, at the state level, anyone who is discriminated against for holding such a license has the right to file a complaint with local authorities, something they cannot do at the federal level.

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鈥 How to check the conditions of your driver鈥檚 license, score and privileges in the state of New York

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