Virginia offers driver privilege card to non-citizens

Beginning on Jan. 2, 2021, Virginians may apply for a driver privilege card at the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. 

This change in Virginia law, authorized by the General Assembly, creates a driving credential for individuals who are non-U.S. citizens and cannot meet the state’s legal presence requirements, making them ineligible to receive a standard or REAL ID-compliant driver’s license in Virginia. 

Customers may be eligible to obtain a driver privilege card if they meet the following criteria:

are a non-U.S. citizen who is a resident of Virginia

have reported income from Virginia sources or are claimed as a dependent on a tax return filed in Virginia in the past 12 months

do not have a driving privilege that is currently suspended or revoked in Virginia or any other state, to include insurance-related infractions

In order to obtain a driver privilege card in Virginia, the following documents must be provided:

Two proofs of identity (e.g., foreign passport and consular identification document issued by country of citizenship); two proofs of Virginia residency (e.g., monthly mortgage statement and utility bill); proof of Social Security number (if one has been issued) or the individual’s taxpayer identification number (e.g., W-2 form); and tax return documentation (e.g. Virginia Resident Form, Virginia Part-Year Resident Income Tax Return Form or Virginia Nonresident Income Tax Return Form, filed in the past 12 months)

All documents must be originals and are subject to verification; however, printouts of approved online residency documents may be accepted.

The steps to obtain a driver privilege card vary based on a customer’s licensed driving history. Applicants will be required to pass a vision screening. DMV encourages those eligible to make an appointment for the new year, study and prepare for applicable tests at dmvNOW.com, and organize the documents necessary to obtain a driver privilege card. An interactive document guide, available on DMV’s website, helps to prepare customers for their visit. 

For more information visit dmvNOW.com/dpc. Applications will be accepted by appointment only and can be made at dmvNOW.com/appt.

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