What the Heck is a Driver Privilege Card?
If you’ve clicked on this post, I bet you’re dying to know! Well, beginning January 1, 2021, if you were otherwise unable to obtain a license to drive in Virginia, your luck will change. Progressive attitudes sweeping the once-moderate Commonwealth have elected a majority democratic general assembly who are largely pro-immigrant. It may have been bound to happen one day, but now Virginia will join about 15 other states that allow undocumented individuals to obtain the ability to lawfully drive a motor vehicle.
Up until the Virginia General Assembly voted earlier this year to make this possible, you could only obtain a license if you were a citizen, could prove Virginia domicile, or had visa documentation from the USCIS (United States Citizenship & Immigration Services) that allows you to obtain one.
In Virginia, the latest numbers as I know of, there are close to 300,000 undocumented immigrants. This means they can now obtain a “Driver Privilege Card” (not a Driver’s License) but there are limitations on their usage and the individual must meet certain requirements. The full requirements can be found on the Virginia DMV website.
The gist is, if you’re a non-US citizen who has reported taxes in the past 12 months AND your driving privilege is not currently suspended in Virginia or any other state, then you can obtain a driver privilege card.
There may be folks that see this and think, “that’s not fair”. I’ll first say that it might not be fair, but it’s the decent thing to do and probably the right thing to do. One of the requirements is that you’ve filed your taxes for the previous year. That means an individual would have to obtain a Tax-ID number from the IRS.gov website. It also means that where they live and work is documented. The driver privilege card further documents this person. Also, this may help address the problems that arise with having drivers who drive illegally without having received the proper behind-the-wheel education and who don’t have auto insurance in the case of an accident. The driver privilege card would result in existing drivers to do so lawfully, knowledgeably, and safely.
If you or someone you know may benefit from this information, I urge you to share and pass this information along. You will need to make an appointment right away. At the rate the news has been spreading, it may not be until the middle of 2021 where you’ll be able to get an appointment at the DMV.