Can Undocumented Immigrants Obtain a Maryland Driver’s License? 

Can Undocumented Immigrants Obtain a Maryland Driver’s License?

Undocumented immigrants enter the United States every day for different reasons. As of 2016, Maryland had more than 275,000 undocumented immigrants living in the state. Many of these immigrants wonder if they have the same opportunities that documented people do. One opportunity both illegal immigrants and U.S. residents and citizens share is the ability to obtain and keep a Maryland driver’s license. However, there are slight caveats when obtaining a driver’s license as an illegal immigrant living in Maryland.

State legislatures passed the Maryland Highway Safety Act in 2013 to make the state’s roadways safer. The law overturned the 2009 requirement for proof of legal immigration status to maintain a license by allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license and auto insurance.

How to Obtain a Maryland License as an Undocumented Immigrant?

An illegal immigrant must meet several additional requirements to obtain a Maryland driver’s license. They first must prove that they are a resident of the state. They must also prove their identity with their birth certificate or a passport. Before obtaining a license, undocumented immigrants must show proof they filed income taxes for at least two years.

However, the license undocumented immigrants may receive is different from the license U.S. citizens and lawfully migrated residents receive. While they may look similar, the license for an undocumented immigrant is not a legal form of identification. All licenses obtained without proof of legal status will have a marking indicating it.

One crucial factor to remember is that you will need auto insurance if you own a vehicle. Penalties for not having car insurance in Maryland may include fines, jail time, or points on your driving record. For illegal immigrants, a failure to obtain car insurance may result in deportation.

What Else Has Maryland Accomplished to Help Undocumented Immigrants?

In addition to allowing undocumented immigrants the right to obtain a driver’s license, the State of Maryland has made progress in other areas regarding immigrants. In 2012, the state passed its version of the DREAM Act The state’s version extends in-state tuition rates to children of illegal immigrants living in Maryland. The bill saw immediate effects, and Maryland educators credited it with the 1% bump in graduation rates.

Speak to an Experienced Traffic Offense Attorney in Maryland Today

If you face traffic violation charges in Maryland, you must act quickly regardless of your immigration status. The negative ramifications of a traffic offense can have a detrimental impact on your life. At the Law Office of Hillel Traub, we recognize these ramifications and will do everything in our power to dismiss these charges.

Attorney Hillel Traub can apply his experience to various traffic-related incidents, including speeding tickets, driving under the influence, and hitting another vehicle. You should not take these violations lightly, so contact Attorney Traub today. Give us a call at (410) 580-1100 or complete our online contact form

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