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North Carolina will issue driver's licenses to deferred action immigrants

As a nation that is truly a melting pot of culture, the topic of immigration has been at the forefront of the minds of many citizens. Recently there has been a lot of debate concerning U.S. Immigration Law in North Carolina and around the nation. Much of this debate has centered on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals law.

In North Carolina there has been a lot of discussion between the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Attorney General regarding the legality of issuing drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. The Attorney General interprets North Carolina law and the DACA to allow those receiving work permits under the DACA to apply for driver's licenses. The DACA grants those persons who were transported into this country at young age temporary lawful presence in the US for two years, with the possibility of renewal.

The DMV was issuing licenses to those qualified under the DACA, but ceased issuing licenses when questions were raised as to their legality. Some licenses that had been issued were recalled. At that point, the DMV requested the Attorney General give his opinion on the law.

Now that the Attorney General has weighed in, the DMV will begin to issue drivers licenses to those eligible under the DACA. The office has announced that they will begin this process on March 26, stating that it will take some time to get the equipment and procedures in place. The licenses will have the same expiration date as the applicants work permit.

The DMV is hoping that this new rule will make North Carolina safer. There was some concern that people were driving without licenses and insurance. This new system will allow more people to apply for licenses and require insurance.


As the law continues to be debated and discussed, it will be important to keep up with any subsequent changes to immigration law. An experienced immigration attorney can be a welcome resource for anyone facing issues, or needing to understand their rights, related to immigration.

Source: News Observer, "NC will grant driving privileges to immigrants in federal program," Bruce Siceloff and Anne Blythe, Feb. 14, 2013.

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