Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Want to drive in VA but aren’t a U.S. Citizen? You might be eligible for this program

Residents who are not U.S. Citizen may be able to drive through this program. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Unsplash)
Residents who are not U.S. Citizen may be able to drive through this program. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Unsplash)

Residents who can’t qualify for a driver’s license may be eligible for this program instead.

The Virginia General Assembly passed a new law passed which allows non-U.S. citizens living in Virginia to drive.

The Driver Privilege Card program is for residents who are not U.S. citizens and gives them the opportunity to drive if they don’t meet the standard or REAL ID driver’s license based on “Virginia’s legal presence requirements,” according to the the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ news release.

The card costs $50 and residents can start applying for the card starting Jan. 2.

“We are pleased to offer this new credential to give thousands of tax-paying Virginians the opportunity to drive legally on our roadways, something they previously have not been able to do,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb in a prepared statement. “Like applicants for any driving credential, driver privilege card applicants must prepare for their visit by gathering necessary documents and studying for all required testing.”

But there are some requirements. Applicants have to pass a vision test and some people may be required to take a knowledge exam, road skills test depending on their driving history or other tests too. See the eligibility checklist below:

  • Non-U.S. citizen and Virginia resident
  • Reported income from Virginia or are claimed as a dependent on a tax return filed in Virginia in the past 12 months
  • No previous driving privilege suspended or revoked in Virginia and other states

In addition, the following documents must also be provided to the DMV for the driver privilege card:

  • Two proofs of identity such as a foreign passport
  • Two proofs of Virginia residency such as a utility bill
  • Proof of Social Security number (if issued) or the individual’s taxpayer identification number
  • Tax return documentation filed in the past 12 months such as a Virginia Resident Form

“All documents must be originals and are subject to verification, however; printouts of approved online residency documents may be accepted,” according to the news release.

If approved, the first driver privilege card expires on the residents birthday a year later and can then be renewed every two years.

For more information, visit the DMV’s website or watch the video below of frequently asked questions about the new driver’s privilege card in Spanish, courtesy of the DMV and the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.


Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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