Can You Get a Florida Driver's License Without Being a Resident?

Non-immigrants may be eligible to receive a driver's license or identification card for a period of up to four years, depending on the expiration date of their current immigration documents. Proof of Social Security Number is required for all applicants who have been authorized by USCIS to work in the United States. It is often assumed that you need to have a green card to get a driver's license in Florida, but this is not necessarily the case. The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles does require substantial evidence to issue you such a license.

The easiest way to understand the required documentation is to divide it into two categories. In some states, it is possible to get a driver's license without having a green card. State-issued driver's licenses serve as proof of drivers' right to operate vehicles, and drivers can be issued costly traffic tickets if they drive without them. Driver's licenses are also used as official identification cards, and identity documents are required on several occasions, such as when applying for a job or when opening a bank account.

Licensing requirements will vary from state to state, and most states don't issue driver's licenses unless the applicant is a U. S. citizen or permanent resident. Citizens can present their certificate of citizenship or naturalization as proof of identity when applying, while permanent residents can show their green cards as proof.

If a permanent resident has lost the green card, it can be replaced. Some states allow drivers licensed from other countries to legally drive for one year. These states choose to give undocumented immigrants the right to drive legally for safety reasons. To get a driver's license, applicants must learn the rules of the roads, pass driving tests and, before starting to drive, get car insurance.

Without driver's licenses, undocumented immigrants drive without proper knowledge and without insurance, making roads less safe for all drivers. Most states continue to deny driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants. However, the recent Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) may be available to some undocumented immigrants. Those who are granted DACA could obtain driver's licenses from the state in which they reside. DACA is still a relatively new policy, and so far only 38 states have declared that they will officially grant driver's licenses to DACA recipients. When applying for a driver's license, a DACA test will be required.

DACA recipients receive work authorization and this is a document that would qualify as evidence. All applicants for a driver's license and identification card must provide proof of legal presence. A list of acceptable documents can be found in our Real Identification PDF for Foreigners. Part-time Florida residents with an out-of-state driver's license that expires before they return home may be able to get a temporary driver's license in Florida. Appointments are recommended but not required for many of the services provided by driver's license offices. New Jersey is among the 20 states whose driver's licenses are considered by Florida officials only as the secondary form of identification because they say those states' identification requirements are not strict enough to qualify as the primary form. Citizens who apply for an original driver's license will receive a 60-day temporary paper permit without a photo or receipt.

If law enforcement stops you and the address on your driver's license is incorrect, you may receive a citation. These forms can be requested through your local driver's license office and will be mailed to you directly. The driver's license or identification card will be issued for the period of time specified in the USCIS document, up to a maximum of four years. State law requires identification, proof of date of birth, and social security number for all customers before a driver's license or identification card can be issued. The social security number (if issued) MUST be included in the application for a driver's license or identification card. Immigrants who renew, replace, or apply for a driver's license or identification card in person must submit certain documents.

People who have recently changed their names should update their records with the Social Security Administration before applying for a Florida driver's license or identification card. If you live in Florida and want to drive a motor vehicle on public streets and highways, you must have a valid Florida driver's license within 30 days of establishing residency in order to drive on Florida highways. Contact your local driver's license office to determine if an appointment is required for the service you need. If you have never been issued a license in any jurisdiction (state or country), you must complete a traffic law and substance abuse education course before being issued with one. Any application for a driver's license or identification card accepts the requirements of the Federal Selective Service System.

Darryl Pucillo
Darryl Pucillo

Award-winning creator. Lifelong internet geek. Extreme food nerd. Avid pop culture specialist. Organizer. Typical food geek.

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