Every crime in California is defined by a specific code section. Our attorneys explain the law, penalties and best defense strategies for every major crime in California.
Drivers License » Should an Undocumented Immigrant Get a Driver’s License in California?
As of January 1, 2015, undocumented immigrants have been able to get a driver’s license in California. Known as an “AB 60 license,” it is available from the California DMV without a social security number to immigrants who can prove they are California residents.
An AB60 license allows an undocumented immigrant to:
To date, more than one million undocumented immigrants have received AB60 driver’s licenses.
Whether an undocumented immigrant should get a California AB 60 license is a personal decision.
The Trump administration’s crackdown on unlawful immigration has made this a closer call than it used to be.
But, in general, we still recommend getting an AB60 license if:
If an immigrant has not violated the law, it is generally safe to apply for a driver’s license. Under California law, state and local law enforcement agencies may not:
But an immigrant may still be arrested in any situation in which someone who is here lawfully could be arrested.
For instance, if someone had previously used a fake name or social security number to get a license, that person could be charged under California’s fraud laws.
Or a driver was weaving and smelled of alcohol, an officer could lawfully arrest that person for drunk driving.
Yes, but only if it gets a specific request from the Department of Homeland Security.
So if ICE is already looking for someone, the DMV can provide DHS with the person’s address and photo.
Otherwise, the DMV will not tell the federal government an immigrant is seeking a license.
Thanks to Senate Bill 54, California became a so-called “sanctuary state” on January 1, 2018. As a result, state and local law enforcement officers may not generally:
This means that local and state law enforcement officers cannot notify federal authorities when presented with an AB60 license.
Driving without a license can be charged as either:
An infraction is similar to a parking ticket. It can be punished only by a fine. This is usually how a first conviction for driving without a license is charged.
But, this is not guaranteed. And subsequent convictions are more likely to be charged as a misdemeanor. This can result in a higher fine and possibly time in jail. It would also give the driver a criminal record.
In California, the answer is “no.” But that doesn’t necessarily mean the immigrant won’t be charged with removal. It only means that the immigrant should be able to win in immigration court.
This might involve fighting the case.
We think it’s better and safer for an immigrant to drive lawfully in the first place.
An immigrant who cannot do so should consider other means of transportation.
An AB 60 license is not valid for official federal purposes. In fact, the words “Federal Limits Apply” are marked clearly in the upper right-hand corner.
As a result, it does not allow an immigrant to obtain employment or government benefits.
More importantly, it does not protect the holder against discrimination from:
Thus it should not ever be presented to federal officials, including:
And undocumented immigrants should never tell a law enforcement officer about their status without first speaking to a lawyer.
To learn more, please see our article on “Driving Without a License in California.”
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.
No. However, senior citizens who hold a Nevada driver’s license have to abide by three special rules: Drivers aged 65 and older must renew their licenses in person at the Nevada DMV, not over the internet; Driver’s aged 65 and older must renew their licenses every four (4) years (younger drivers may renew them every ...
The practical difference between a driver’s license suspension and revocation is that reinstating a suspended license is a little easier. This is because people with revoked licenses have to apply for an entirely new license. People with suspended licenses can get their old license back. But both processes require paperwork and a trip to the ...
Crime of "driving under restraint" (DUR) in ColoradoWatch this video on YouTube In Colorado, driving under restraint (CRS 42-2-138) is the crime of operating a motor vehicle with a license that has been revoked or suspended. Motorists may be convicted of driving under restraint (DUR) in Colorado whether or not their license is from Colorado ...
It depends on the driver’s age. For adults 21 and older in Colorado, accumulating 12 DMV points in 12 months will result in a license suspension of 6 to 12 months. Even a first-time offense of DUI in Colorado usually results in an automatic suspension as well. Colorado DMV Points System The Colorado DMV point ...