January 17, 2018

FACT SHEET: Georgia drivers licenses, ID Cards and illegal aliens *UPDATED February 8, 2018 with a response from USCIS * UPDATED February 11, 2021

Posted by D.A. King at 5:41 pm - Email the author   Print This Post Print This Post  

Georgia drivers license issued to legal immigrants, legal guest workers, students with legal temporary visas, illegal aliens with deferred action on deportation (including but not limited to ‘DACA’) or delayed deportations
photo: DDS


–> UPDATE: EAD codes begin on page 12-21

UPDATE: 63% of Georgians polled oppose any drivers licenses to any illegal aliens. Here.

Associated Press headline, August 23, 2012: “Some illegal immigrants can get a Georgia drivers license.”

USCIS official spokesperson, October 16, 2017“Current law does not grant any legal status for the class of individuals who are current recipients of DACA. Recipients of DACA are currently unlawfully present in the U.S. with their removal deferred.”

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr: “We have continuously and clearly taken the position in ongoing legal cases that DACA does not confer legal status.” July 17, 2017 (WABE News).



Fact: Only illegal aliens have a need for a delay or deferral in deportation.

Fact: The federal immigration authorities’ practice of deferring deportation proceedings is decades old (long before Obama’s DACA decree), was begun as an informal enforcement priority tool and was never passed or approved by congress. Deferred action on deportation is a tradition, not a law and was intended to be used on a case-by-case, individual basis.

–> Fact: The REAL ID Act implemented after and because of the horror of 9/11 says that illegal aliens who have been granted deferred action on deportation or who have been ordered deported but then apply for permanent residence can use that temporary condition as “evidence of lawful status” for the purpose of obtaining a federally approved drivers license or state ID card only – it does not change the fact that according to USCIS – and the Georgia Attorney General – they are illegal aliens for any other purpose.

UPDATED 11 Feb 2021: In March, 2019 The 11th Circuit ruled that deferred action on deportation DACA recipients do not have lawful presence or legal status for Georgia BOR admission purposes (same policy the regulates instate tuition) – this does not effect these illegal alien’s eligibility for drivers licenses and ID because of the language in the REAL ID Act. Again we note: STATES ARE NOT REQUIRED UNDER REAL ID ACT TO ISSUE DRIVERS LICENSES TO ILLEGAL ALIENS). NOT ALL RECIPIENTS OF DEFERRED ACVTION ON DEPORTATION HAVE DACAND VISA VERSA….

There is no requirement that any state “shall” issue the illegals a drivers license, only that it may.

→REAL ID Act (here): “SEC. 202. MINIMUM DOCUMENT REQUIREMENTS AND ISSUANCE STANDARDS FOR FEDERAL RECOGNITION. (a) Minimum Standards for Federal Use- (B) EVIDENCE OF LAWFUL STATUS- A State shall require, before issuing a driver’s license or identification card to a person, valid documentary evidence that the person has…approved deferred action status; or has a pending application for adjustment of status to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States or conditional permanent resident status in the United States.”

Fact: States issue driver’s licenses under the constitutional authority of the Tenth Amendment. Each state can lawfully issue any type of drivers license/ID Cards it chooses. Again: The REAL ID Act sets minimum standards for federal acceptance of drivers licenses/ID Cards. Non REAL ID Act – approved ID cannot be used to enter federal buildings or to board airliners. * And it is much more difficult to use them to vote in Georgia elections.

Fact: According to DDS since 2012 Georgia DDS has issued, renewed or replaced more than 50,000 drivers licenses/ID Cards for illegal aliens (of all ages) who have already been ordered deported or have deferred action on deportation.

Fact: Other states, including Michigan , South Carolina and California issue multi-tiered drivers licenses and ID Cards. One (optional) tier being REAL ID Act approved – another tier not REAL ID Act approved.

Fact: The Georgia drivers licenses and ID Cards currently issued to illegal aliens who have applied to obtain legal permanent residence after being ordered deported and/or with deferred action on deportation are exactly like the driving and ID credentials we issue to legal immigrants, students on a temporary visa and guest workers such as KIA and Mercedes Benz executives here with a legal guest worker visa. They read “Limited Term.”

Fact: Georgia DDS issues different drivers licenses and ID Cards (vertically oriented) to applicants – including American citizens – who are under age twenty-one.

Georgia drivers license issued to drivers who are under age twenty-one

Fact: Most nations, including Mexico, do not issue any drivers licenses or ID cards to illegals.

Fact: Lacking a policy change from DDS officials, the Georgia General Assembly has complete authority to legislate the requirement that DDS change the driving and ID credentials issued to the illegal aliens with the above outlined status so that the document clearly shows they are not legal immigrants and the document is not REAL ID Act approved.

**UPDATE February 8: Yesterday, I received a reply from the official spokes person, Pamela Wilson, at USCIS asking which EAD codes represented aliens with lawful status. I am told this comes direct from the office of legal consul. I past it below.

“USCIS Response:

The categories of individuals who are eligible to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) are listed in the Code of Federal Regulations at 8 CFR 274a.12(a)-(c), and in the Instructions for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.  Individuals in the following EAD categories are applicants for lawful status.  Many individuals in these categories are applying for change or adjustment of their current lawful status, but some may not be in status:


(c)(8)  Aliens with pending applications for asylum

(c)(9)/(c)(16)/(c)(20)/(c)(22)/(c)(24) Aliens applying for lawful permanent resident status

(c)(10)  Aliens applying for cancellation of removal

(c)(19)  Aliens applying for Temporary Protected Status

(c)(31) Self petitioners under the Violence Against Women Act


Individuals in the following categories do not have lawful status.  They have either been granted temporary relief from removal, or cannot be removed due to the refusal of all countries designated to receive the alien, or because the removal of the alien is otherwise impracticable or contrary to the public interest:


(a)(10)  Aliens granted withholding of deportation or removal

(a)(11)  Aliens granted deferred enforced departure

(a)(13)/(14)  Aliens granted a stay of removal under the Family Unity Program

(c)(14)/(33)  Aliens in a period of deferred action

(c)(18)  Aliens granted deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture, and aliens under a final order of removal who are on an order of supervision because they cannot be immediately removed


Finally, in some cases, abused spouses of certain nonimmigrants who are eligible for an EAD under (c)(27)-(c)(30) may not be in status.”