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Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a new immigration law that invalidates "driving privileges only" licenses.
States such as Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Rhode Island and Vermont issue this type of license to immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally.
These licenses allow people to use them uniquely for driving, not as federal or state identification.
A TikTok user claims Florida is invalidating out-of-state driver’s licenses from Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Rhode Island and Vermont, making it legal for officers to pull people over and write them a ticket.
"If you get pulled over driving in Florida and your license is from Vermont, Delaware, RI, Connecticut or Hawaii, your license is invalid," a man in the TikTok video said. "The law directs Florida police to write a ticket to anyone they pull over who has what is now recognized as an invalid license," the video said.
This claim has some truth to it, but it is missing context.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis this year signed a new law that says that certain driver’s licenses and permits issued by other states exclusively to "unauthorized immigrants" are not valid in Florida. The law took effect July 1.
The law requires the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to maintain an online list of the classes of out-of-state licenses that are now invalid in Florida. The list currently invalidates licenses that say "not for federal identification" or "driving privileges only" from Connecticut, Delaware and Hawaii.
"Someone who is in our country illegally and has violated our laws should not possess a government-issued ID which allows them access to state-funded services and other privileges afforded to lawful residents," DeSantis said July 5.
People who are caught driving with these drive-only licenses can face citations and penalties in Florida. The law also prohibits people who are in the country illegally from applying for a driver’s license in Florida.
Nineteen states and Washington, D.C., issue driver’s licenses for immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally, are 16 years or older and cannot establish lawful presence in the United States. These licenses do not serve as state or federal identification; they are exclusively a driving authorization.
To apply for these licenses, people must bring evidence of their state residency, take a learner’s permit test and present an affidavit stating that they will file, as soon as they are eligible, an application to legalize their immigration status.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is currently rejecting those licenses only from Connecticut, Delaware and Hawaii. The licenses from the other states are allowed in Florida because they are also issued to people who are in the U.S. legally.
On July 18, Rhode Island and Vermont were eliminated from the list after state officials contacted Florida officials. Both states clarified that the license format that they issue to people who are illegally in the country is the same as the one issued to people who are lawfully in the country. Residents may also obtain these "driving privileges only" licenses in both states.
The TikTok user fails to address that only the drive-only licenses issued in Connecticut, Delaware and Hawaii to immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally will be invalidated. Drivers with standard licenses will have no problem driving around Florida.
A TikTok post said, "If you get pulled over driving in Florida and your license is from Vermont, Delaware, RI, Connecticut or Hawaii, your license is invalid."
This claim is missing important context as the law applies only to licenses marked "not for federal identification" or "driving privileges only." Standard licenses for citizens and immigrants legally in the U.S. will continue being accepted.
These invalidated drive-only licenses are given specifically to immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally. Currently, only those specific licenses from Connecticut, Delaware and Hawaii are flagged as invalid by Florida’s motor vehicles agency.
We rate this post Mostly False.
Email from Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, July 19, 2023
TikTok post, July 10, 2023
Reuters, "Florida bans driver’s licenses of immigrants living in US illegally," July 6, 2023
Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, "Visiting Florida Frequently Asked Questions," accessed July 17, 2023
Governor Ron DeSantis, "Governor Ron DeSantis Announces List of Invalid Out-of-State Driver Licenses Issued to Undocumented Immigrants," July 5, 2023
Tampa Bay Times, "These out-of-state licenses are invalid in Florida because of immigration law," July 17, 2023
Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles, "Getting a drive-only license," accessed July 17, 2023
National Conference of State Legislature, "States offering Driver’s Licenses to Immigrants," March 13, 2023
Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles, "Drivers License/Identification Cards," accessed July 17, 2023
Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, "Driver's Privilege Card," accessed July 17, 2023
Rhode Island Government, "Governor McKee Signs Legislation Granting Driving Privileges to Undocumented Residents," July 1, 2023
Khon2, "Hawaii licenses hit by Florida’s illegal immigration crackdown," July 5, 2023
NBC10, "Florida resolves issue with Rhode Island driver privilege cards," July 10,2023
WFTV 9, "DeSantis, Florida officials announce invalid driver’s licenses after immigration law," July 9, 2023
Florida Senate SB 1718, accessed July 18, 2023
The Hill, "16 states allow undocumented migrants to obtain drivers license," February 16, 2022
Hawaii Department of Transportation, "About Hawaii’s Limited Purpose Driver's License Information," November 13, 2019
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