Florida DMV: Driver’s Licenses to Individuals with Cases Closed Pursuant to Prosecutorial Discretion

by Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
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The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (“FLHSMV”) regularly publishes an updated list of documents that it will accept as proof of immigration status in connection with an application for a Florida Driver’s License.  

The current list of acceptable documents includes individuals whose Immigration Court cases have been “administratively closed” by an Immigration Judge and individuals whose cases have been the subject of “prosecutorial discretion” from the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”).

Administrative closure of Immigration Court cases means that the case has been temporarily taken off the docket, typically because it is not considered a priority for removal, there will be some sort of relief from removal available in the future, or there are other favorable circumstances warranting the temporary closure of the case. Pursuant to the FLHSMV acceptable documents table, individuals who can present a copy of the Notice to Appear for removal proceedings and the Immigration Judge’s Order administratively closing the case are eligible for a driver’s license. 

Prosecutorial discretion is an initiative by DHS to prioritize the use of its resources to ensure that the individuals it removes represent, as much as reasonably possible, the agency’s enforcement priorities, namely the promotion of national security, border security, public safety, and the integrity of the immigration system. Pursuant to a number of DHS memorandums, the most recent one being a June 17, 2011 Memorandum titled “Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion Consistent with the Civil Immigration Enforcement Priorities of the Agency for the Apprehension, Detention, and Removal of Aliens,” by Former Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS is authorized to use discretion in closing cases to allow applicants currently in removal proceedings to remain in the U.S. Beneficiaries of prosecutorial discretion are required to show a copy of the Joint Motion for Termination and the Ordinal Final Order granting or approving the Joint Motion.   

Note that the documents mentioned above only prove immigration status. The FLHSMV requires additional documents to prove identity and residential address. 

 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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