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DREAMers Want to Drive: How to Get a License or State ID

El momento. Los DREAMers    anuncian su victoria el 22 de Diciembre de 2014 al ganar la batalla legal de las licencias de conducir. Foto: The ADAC
El momento. Los DREAMers anuncian su victoria el 22 de Diciembre de 2014 al ganar la batalla legal de las licencias de conducir. Foto: The ADAC
Carmen Cornejo
Written by Carmen Cornejo

Important victories are sometimes slow to come, but this one finally arrived. After months of fighting in the courts, DREAMers had a great victory on December 22, 2014, when the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division began processing driver’s licenses and identification card applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.

DREAMers in most of the U.S. had quick access to driver’s licenses and state IDs after President Obama issued his executive action allowing young immigrants relief from deportation for two years, which included access to work permits and a social security number.

Many DACA-DREAMers jumped onto this opportunity to “be normal” in the USA. In Arizona, it took more than two years for the courts to clear the way after local politicians blocked DACA-DREAMers’ access to driver’s licenses.

Every year, younger undocumented people become eligible to apply for DACA and require guidance to access the very important license or state ID.

Basically, DREAMers need to follow the same process as driver’s license applicants who have not previously held an Arizona license, which are:

1. Present identification – the Employment Authorization Card (EAC) they got with DACA.

2. Pass the written and driving tests.

Costs are the same for everybody. For people age 16-39, a driver’s license costs $25, and learner’s permits are $7. State identification cards cost $12. Click here to review fees.

On-the-road tests can take up to 30 minutes, and test-takers need to arrive before 3 p.m. for road tests. Applicants may need more than one office visit to complete the process.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients will receive a driver’s license like any other Arizona driver’s license or identification card. The expiration date will correspond with the expiration of their Employment Authorization Card, as happens with all individuals who present EAC cards.

If a DACA recipient is a minor, he or she will need at least one parent or legal guardian to sign their permit, expressing their approval. The signatures must be witnessed by an MVD agent or notary public. Signatures obtained for a learner’s permit will be required again for a driver’s license.

Drive safely!