Texas Driver’s License Requirements
On October 1, 2008, the Texas Department of Public Safety issued new regulations regarding the “identity” requirements for obtaining or renewing a Texas Driver’s License. The Department requires an individual to show one “primary” identification document or one “secondary” identification plus two “supporting documents” or two pieces of “secondary” identification. For example, “primary” identification documents are:
- Texas Driver’s license or ID within two years of expiration;
- Unexpired United States Passport
- United States Citizenship Certificate or Certificate of Naturalization
- Unexpired Homeland Security of USCIS document issued for a period of at least one year and must be valid for no less than six months from the date presented to the Department.
- A foreign passport with a visa and valid immigration documents
- Unexpired US Military ID.
Read a complete list of the acceptable identification documents…
The Department will also issue special vertical-oriented licenses for noncitizens with legal permission to be in the country. Some immigration advocates have criticized the new rules because they claim item 4, will create undue burdens on short term legal immigrants. Others have claimed that the special vertically oriented driver’s licenses will lead to increased scrutiny for immigrants as they interact with government officials and the public. This could be especially troublesome if the Department revives its now scrapped plans to institute state-wide “random” driver’s license checkpoints. Read further about the driver’s licenses and checkpoint program…
Interestingly, a person with a valid foreign driver’s license from a country that has “reciprocity” with the United States may drive a private non-commercial motor vehicle on Texas roads for up to one year.
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