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Florida Driver License info at

Posted: October 21st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Sarasota Immigrants | No Comments »

TN Prakash, the Deputy Director in charge of driver license issues for immigrants at the DHSMV, has provided us with some very useful information and directs everyone to find out more about the Florida requirements for driver license issuance at:

This website allows you to enter your personal information and immigration status and provides a checklist of appropriate documents for your situation.

Here are some important highlights:

First, there are different document requirements for U.S. citizens, permanent residents, immigrants with pending applications and nonimmigrants, and Canadians.

Second, anyone who must make an office visit to renew or obtain a new driver license or identification card must bring:


  1. An original, unexpired, government-issued document to prove identity, such as a passport, birth certificate, green card or certificate of naturalization
  2. Proof of a social security number (if you are eligible to receive one), such as a social security card, W-2 Wage and Tax Statement, paycheck or pay stub, or 1099-MISC tax form.
  3. Two documents to prove residential address, such as deed, mortgage statement, lease, voter registration card, utility bills, recent bank statements, etc.

Third, immigrants with pending applications and nonimmigrants must bring proof of legal status in the U.S.  This would include a passport containing a visa, an I-94 card, approval notices for any extension or changes of status, receipt notices for any pending applications, an employment authorization card, etc.  This list is not complete and the requirements may vary for certain immigrant and nonimmigrant categories.  Immigration attorneys have access to a list of accepted documents from the DMV.  If you are an immigrant with a pending application or a nonimmigrant, then you should speak with your attorney to gather the documents necessary for the driver license issues.

Here are a few more tips concerning immigrants with pending applications and nonimmigrants:

  1. Do not expect to get a license on the day of your office visit. Instead, you will get a 30 day temporary license while your application is processed
  2. The license will be issued for 1 year or for the expiration date of your immigration document, whichever is shorter.
  3. Any lawful immigrant or nonimmigrant who will be in Florida for longer than 31 days can seek a license, including visitors on a visa waiver.
  4. The DMV cannot issue a license if an applicant has less than 31 days of valid status on his or her immigration document.
  5. The DMV will scan any documents provided but is not permitted to keep or confiscate any document
  6. The cost to renew a license is $48.

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Written by Chris Jaensch

Chris Jaensch

Attorney P. Christopher Jaensch received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 1992 and a Juris Doctor degree in 1995 from the University of Florida. While at UF, he was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity, Phi Beta Kappa Society and Florida Blue Key, the oldest and most prestigious leadership honorary in the state of Florida.

Mr. Jaensch is a member of the Florida Bar, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the Sarasota Bar Association. He has served as President of the Sarasota-Manatee International Trade Club and served as Regional Vice Chair, Tampa Bay, for the Central Florida Chapter of AILA. He was a member of City of Sarasota Charter Review Committee and has been active in several local organizations, including the influential Laurel Park Neighborhood Association in downtown Sarasota.

Mr. Jaensch has over 18 years of experience in the field of immigration and nationality law and focuses his practice on four primary categories (a) investors and entrepreneurs, (b) business executives, managers and professionals, (c) amateur and professional athletes and coaches and (d) performing artists and immigrants with extraordinary ability.

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