Beginning Oct. 1, the TX Department of Public Safety will require applicants who are not U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States to present proof of their lawful status in the U.S. before they are issued an original, renewal or duplicate Texas driver license or identification card.
Administrative rule 37 T.A.C. § 15.171 adopted on August 25, 2008, is intended to enhance the security of the Texas driver license and identification cards, protect the integrity of the licensing process and reduce the risk of identity theft and fraud. Strengthening identity and residency requirements assists DPS in issuing secure documents that are routinely used by financial institutions, retailers, law enforcement and other entities to establish the identity of their customers.
Under the new rule, the DPS will issue driver licenses or identification cards to non-U.S. citizens only when acceptable documentation has been provided to the Department to confirm the applicant’s lawful status in the United States. Upon verification of lawful status in the U.S. the individual will receive a license with a Temporary Visitor designation and status date on the face of the card. The new rule also requires the cardholder to provide proof that their lawful status has been updated or extended before DPS will issue a duplicate or renewal. DPS will cancel the license or ID card if the cardholder is unable to present valid documentation that shows federal approval to remain in the United States beyond the status date.
An applicant whose lawful admission period is less than six months will not be issued a driver license or identification card.
An individual who is not legally present in the United States because he or she has entered the country without permission, or has stayed beyond the period authorized by federal authorities, will not be granted a DL or ID card.