Last week Illinois joined Washington, New Mexico and Utah to become the fourth state to enact a law that allows illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses. Soon after, Michigan followed suit with a new policy allowing limited-term driver's licenses and state IDs for certain undocumented immigrants.
On January 27, 2013, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law +2011 Bill Text IL S.B. 957, which allows individuals who have resided in Illinois for longer than a year, but are not eligible for a Social Security number, to obtain a three-year temporary visitor driver's license. Also, the law requires that the illegal immigrant submit a valid unexpired passport from his or her country of citizenship or a valid unexpired consular identification card. Prior to obtaining the temporary driver's license an applicant must pass a driver safety test and carry auto insurance. The new law takes effect on November 27.
Illegal immigrants cannot use the temporary driver's license for proof of identity. Therefore, employers should not accept this document during the employment eligibility process. Immigrants with a temporary driver's license should instead provide employers with other forms of identification such as a passport.
Not to be outdone by its neighboring state, Michigan's Secretary of State announced on February 1 that effective February 19 it will begin issuing limited-term driver's licenses and state IDs to undocumented immigrants who qualify for the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA). Michigan was one of a handful of states that had a policy denying driver's licenses to DACA recipients. However, once the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) made clear that DACA recipients are lawfully present in the US, Michigan reversed its policy.
Continue to check XpertHR for developments on this and other immigration issues.
Recruiting and Hiring > New Hire Paperwork
Form I-9 and Immigration Issues Resource Center