Drivers licenses from five states including Delaware no longer valid under Florida’s new immigration law
The provision is part of a larger immigration legislation signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis which went into effect on July 1.
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As part of a larger immigration legislation signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that went into effect on July 1, the state is cracking down on driver's licenses from five states — Connecticut, Delaware, Vermont, Rhode Island, Hawaii — that are no longer valid under the new policy.
The bill backed by the 2024 Presidential hopeful prohibits the issuance of a driver license to anyone who cannot give proof of lawful presence in the U.S. and specifies that out-of-state driver licenses issued exclusively to undocumented immigrants are invalid in the Sunshine state.
“Someone who is in our country illegally and has violated our laws should not possess a government-issued ID which allows them access to state-funded services and other privileges afforded to lawful residents," DeSantis said in a statement Wednesday.
Any person who presents an invalid out-of-state driver license during a traffic stop will be subject to a citation for driving without a valid license.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ newly published list of out-of-state license classes that are now invalid, the new rules include:
-- Connecticut licenses that indicate "Not For Federal Identification"
-- Delaware licenses that indicate "Driving Privilege Only" or "Not Valid for Identification"
-- Hawaii licenses that indicate "Limited Purpose Driver’s License" or "Limited Purpose Instruction Permit" or "Limited Purpose Provisional Driver’s License" or "Not Valid for use for official Federal purposes"
-- Rhode Island licenses that indicate "Not for Federal Identification" or "Driver Privilege Card" or "Driver Privilege Permit"
-- Vermont licenses that indicate "Not for REAL ID Purposes Driver’s Privilege Card" or "Not for REAL ID Purposes Junior Driver’s Privilege Card" or "Not for REAL ID Purposes Learner’s Privilege Card"
The DMV said on its website that the list “unavoidably is evolving, may change due to the revision of driver license issuance requirements in other states, and will be updated periodically.”
19 states offer driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants — California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington — while Massachusetts opened applications on July 1.
The new immigration legislation, SB 1718, considered to be among the harshest in the country that affects the state’s roughly 775,000 undocumented immigrants also requires private companies with over 25 employees to use E-Verify to prove the legal employment eligibility of workers.
Florida hospitals that accept Medicaid will be required to document whether or not a patient is a U.S. citizen, and whether or not the patient is an undocumented immigrant.
Additionally, employers who knowingly hire undocumented immigrants face revocation of their business license and other penalties.
“Any business that exploits this crisis by employing illegal aliens instead of Floridians will be held accountable,” said DeSantis spokesman Jeremy Redfern.
However, in a state where the largest industries including tourism, agriculture and construction are heavily dependent on immigrant labor, there are concerns that the economy could suffer as a result, particularly when employers are struggling to fill open jobs.
The state’s unemployment rate is 2.6%.
"The Biden administration may continue to abdicate its responsibilities to secure our border, but Florida will stand for the rule of law,” said DeSantis. “Even if the federal government refuses, Florida will act decisively to protect our citizens, our state, and our country."