New immigration legislation makes certain kinds of driver’s licenses from five states, including three in New England, invalid in Florida.
The measure stipulates that out-of-state driver’s licenses provided only to undocumented immigrants are invalid in Florida and forbids the issuing of a driver’s license to anyone who cannot show documentation of their legal status in the country.
When someone is pulled over for driving while ineligible, they may be issued a ticket. Some drivers from Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont will be impacted by the new regulation.
As part of broader immigration laws p@ssed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and implemented on July 1, the crackdown on out-of-state licenses is being implemented.
DeSantis said in a statement that someone who is in the country illegally and has broken the law should not have a government-issued ID that gives them access to state-funded programs and other benefits available to legal citizens.
ID cards issued for illegal aliens will not be valid in Florida.
We will continue to lead the fight against Biden’s Border Crisis.https://t.co/jH8Cr4YUv1
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) July 5, 2023
Longtime supporters have maintained that giving unauthorized immigrants driver’s licenses improves public safety.
Werner Oyanadel, executive director of Connecticut’s Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission, stated in 2014 when the state began accepting license applications from undocumented immigrants, “The truth of the matter is people are driving back and forth from work to home.” He claimed that under the new law, those drivers will be properly taught, which would be the difference. They must register their automobiles and demonstrate they have insurance, just like other drivers.
The following classifications of out-of-state licenses are not valid in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles:
licenses from Connecticut with the phrase “Not For Federal Identification”
Licenses issued in Delaware with the words “Driving Privilege Only” or “Not Valid for Identification”
Hawaii licenses that read “Not Valid for Use for Official Federal Purposes” or “Limited Purpose Instruction Permit” or “Limited Purpose Provisional Driver’s License”
Rhode Island licenses that read “Not for Federal Identification” or “Driver Privilege Card” or “Driver Privilege Permit”
Licenses issued in Vermont that read “Not for REAL ID Purposes Driver’s Privilege Card,” “Not for REAL ID Purposes Junior Driver’s Privilege Card,” or “Not for REAL ID Purposes Learner’s Privilege Card”
People who are present in the nation without proper documentation are eligible for driver’s licenses in about 20 states; Massachusetts began accepting applications on July 1.
The list of licenses that have been revoked is subject to change, according to an announcement this week from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
The legislation, SB 1718, also mandates the use of E-Verify, an online system for verifying job eligibility, by private businesses with more than 25 employees. Employers who intentionally hire immigrants without proper paperwork may face penalties, with the severity varying according to the number of such employees.
Furthermore, Florida hospitals that accept Medicaid will have to keep records of each patient’s citizenship status as well as whether or not they are an undocumented immigrant.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis wants to keep undocumented immigrants out of his state with his signature bill #SB1718.
Doing so would have a devastating impact on the state’s economy. pic.twitter.com/YH3rwiAvhH
— America's Voice (@AmericasVoice) July 3, 2023
However, neither a patient’s citizenship nor legal status will have an impact on how they are treated, and they won’t be reported to the immigration police.
The new immigration legislation, according to critics, is among the strictest state rules in the nation and makes life more difficult for Florida’s approximately 775,000 undocumented immigrants.