COLUMBUS — Recently the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles instructed the state’s deputy registrars to begin issuing temporary driver licenses to qualified Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals grantees, but only after first confirming applicants’ immigration documents via the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services database.
The extra security steps are designed to combat fraud or the use of counterfeit documents.
BMV’s decision was established after reviewing guidance expressed by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine that DACA grantees are eligible for temporary driver licenses under Ohio law.
The BMV’s instructions to deputy registrars will ensure consistent procedures are followed statewide when issuing the temporary licenses.
Confirmation of applicants’ immigrant documents will be made via the federal government’s immigration database to verify their authenticity.
Upon verification of applicants’ documents they will be issued a non-renewable/temporary license valid for the time period of their work authorization issued by USCIS, not to exceed two years.
The federal government allows DACA grantees to work in the U.S. during the two-year length of their DACA status. Individuals are eligible for DACA status if: they arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16; have no criminal history; are currently in school; have graduated from high school or received a general education development certificate; have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and are under the age of 31.
Currently 37 other states also issue temporary drivers licenses to DACA grantees. Ohio is one of the few states to take the extra step of also confirming applicants’ immigration documents through the federal government’s database.