CO Driver's license for undocumented immigrants

The Colorado legislature passed a measure to approve driver's licenses for undocumented residents: but not until August 1, 2014. Licensing for undocumented individuals in Colorado after 8/1/2014

Highlights: After August 1, 2014, you no longer need to prove legal residency as an immigrant in this state to obtain a driver’s license.  This new law:

  • Authorizes the Department of Revenue to issue an identification document to an individual who is an undocumented immigrant in the United States if certain requirements including, but not limited to, the following are met (Sec. 4):
    • The individual qualifies for the identification document; meaning they are not suspended or revoked, not otherwise ineligible for the license for reasons like age or inability to drive due to physical or mental condition;
    • The individual provides a passport, a consular identification card, or a military identification document from the individual’s country of origin;
    • The individual signs an affidavit confirming residency; and
    • The individual presents proof of Colorado resident income tax return filing for the preceding year.
  • Defines “identification document” as a either a driver’s license, minor driver’s license, instruction permit, or identification card issued by the Department of Revenue.
  • Authorizes the Department of Revenue to issue an identification document to an individual who is “temporarily present” in the United States if the following requirements are met.
    • The individual provides documents to the Department of Revenue to demonstrate lawful presence in the United States; this applies to those who have temporary legal authorization to remain in the United States, such as those receiving Deferred Action (Dreamers) or temporary protected status, and
    • The individual’s status is confirmed by the federal government.
  • Prohibits an individual from using an identification document for federal identification, voting, or public benefit purposes.
  • Requires the identification document issued under this bill to be “distinguishable” from other identification documents and expire 3 years after issuance (Sec. 4).  This means the new limited license issued by the state will come as a separate card from the regular Colorado driver’s license.
  • Prohibits a peace officer from arresting an individual merely for possessing an identification document issued under this bill (Sec. 4).
  • You must still provide proof of insurance, and must pay Colorado state taxes under your Colorado tax identification number each year to remain eligible.  If you are currently under suspension or revocation, you should consult with an attorney regarding the potential benefit of re-opening that litigation to attempt to qualify for this new license.