Can illegal aliens get drivers licenses in Nevada?

Undocumented immigrants (illegal aliens) may drive in Nevada with a driver authorization card (DAC). Illegal aliens may get DACs without showing a U.S. passport or birth certificate.

The DMV does not turn over information about DAC-holders to the feds. But the DMV will deny DACs to anyone with unpaid traffic tickets or revoked licenses. 

Below our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys explain how illegal aliens may drive in Nevada.

Undocumented immigrants are allowed to drive in Nevada with a driver authorization card.

1. Can undocumented immigrants get a Nevada driver's license?

No, but illegal aliens may drive in Nevada with a DAC. This is short for a driver authorization card.

DACs look nearly identical to driver's licenses. But they are not valid identification to board aircraft. They also cannot be used to apply for state benefits.

2. If I apply for a DAC, will the DMV give my information to ICE?

No. Under NRS 481.063, it is illegal for the DMV to notify the feds about undocumented immigrants.

3. How do I get a DAC in Nevada?

Applicants must go to a Nevada DMV office in person and bring the required documents:

  1. Proof of identity;
  2. Proof of Nevada residency; and
  3. Translations of any non-English documents

Applicants with a suspended license or unpaid traffic tickets in any state may not get a Nevada DAC.

3.1. DAC proof of identity

Undocumented immigrants can show proof of identity by one of the following:

  • U.S. military (dependent) ID card
  • DD Form 214 – "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty"
  • U.S. Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood

Otherwise, undocumented immigrants can show proof of identity by two of the following: 

  • A U.S. driver's license or ID card
  • A U.S. DAC
  • A foreign birth certificate
  • A consular ID card (or similar document)

3.2. DAC proof of residency

Immigrants can prove residency by two of the following.

Dated within the last 60 days Last-issued document
  • Rent receipt of a residence
  • Lease of a residence showing the applicant as the lessee
  • Public utility record
  • Bank or credit card statement
  • Employment check stub
  • State or federal court document
  • Document requesting payment
  • Record from a Nevada school or an ID card
  • Record from a Nevada hotel, etc. showing 30 days of residency
  • Voter registration card
  • Public assistance receipt of benefits
  • If the applicant is deployed outside Nevada, a Leave and Earnings Statement form
  • Notarized statement from a homeowner that the applicant resides there
  • Insurance card, binder, or bill
  • Doctor's record, receipt, or bill
  • Tax records (not including property taxes)
  • Property taxes records (assessed or paid)
  • Deed of trust or current mortgage document
  • Confidential Address Program (CAP) documents

3.3. DAC translations

Translated documents must be typed and signed by a DMV Approved Translator with the disclaimer:

"I, [insert translator's full legal name], certify that the foregoing is a complete and accurate translation from [insert foreign language] to the English language to the best of my ability. I further certify that I am fully competent to translate from [insert foreign language] into the English language and that I am proficient in both languages.
DMV Approved Translator Number: ________________"

4. Can I drive commercial vehicles with a DAC?

No. Commercial drivers require a commercial driver's license.

5. How long are DACs valid for?

DACs issued on or after July 1, 2017, are good for four years. These DACs expire on the card holder's birthday.

DACs issued prior to July 1, 2017, are good for one year from the date it was issued.

6. How do I renew my DAC?

suspended license
People with suspended licenses are ineligible for a DAC in Nevada.

Go to a Nevada DMV in person and bring two proofs of Nevada residency. (See section 3 above for acceptable documentation.)

7. Can I drive in another state with a DAC from Nevada?

Yes, but check with that state's DMV to make sure.

8. Can documented immigrants get a driver's license?

Yes, non-citizens with lawful status may get a Nevada driver's license. They should apply for a license within 30 days of moving to Nevada.

9. Can I drive with a driver's license from another country?

Foreigners lawfully in the U.S. as a visitor or tourist may drive in Nevada with a foreign license. But the only way illegal aliens may drive in Nevada is with a DAC.

10. What is the penalty for driving without a license or DAC?

It is a misdemeanor in Nevada to drive without a license or DAC (NRS 483.230). Judges typically impose a fine. But the maximum punishment is:

  • 6 months in jail, and/or
  • $1,000 in fines

Illegal aliens caught by police always face the risk of being reported to ICE and landing in immigration court.  Learn more about the criminal defense of non-citizens in Nevada.

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Accused of driving without a license? Call us for help ...

Are you an undocumented immigrant who's been arrested in Nevada? Call 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673).  Our Las Vegas criminal and immigration attorneys can consult with you for free about how to resolve your case.

Learn more about DAC requirements at the Nevada DMV DAC information page.

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