Individuals without a legal immigration status typically are not eligible to get driver’s licenses under a state’s laws, which usually serve as a person’s main form of identification. Undocumented immigrants don’t have the foundation documents, such as a social security card, that are necessary to legally obtain a driver’s license. However, to date, 12 states and Washington, D.C., have enacted laws that permit undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses in order for them to drive legally and obtain vehicle insurance. California, for instance, has a law that permits an immigrant, despite a lack of legal immigration status, to obtain a driver’s license, so long as he or she can show proof of state residency. These licenses, however, often contain a special mark or language that prevents them from being used a form of identification. Some city governments, such as that of San Francisco, California, have taken steps to provide identification for immigrants without legal status in the form of photo identification cards. Although these ID cards cannot be used as driver’s licenses, they can serve as a source of picture ID if needed. For example, many banks and financial institutions require a photo ID showing residency in order to open a bank account. In the jurisdictions that offer ID cards to residents without legal immigration status, these residents now can protect their finances by utilizing bank accounts. While these ID cards are certainly useful in certain situations, there are distinct limits to their benefits. They cannot serve as work authorization for an individual, nor can they entitle an individual to city, state, or federal benefits. This fact often prevents these individuals from contributing to the country’s economy through legal work, by keeping work “under the table,” or illegal. Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. is an Oakland immigration law firm who has dedicated their practice to protecting the interests of immigrants who are seeking to remain in the U.S. and facing potential deportation. We are prepared to build the strongest case possible in order to defend you against deportation. Contact us today to set up your legal consultation and discover what assistance we can offer to you and your family.