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Immigrants with driving privileges: Employment guidance updated

Finding employment when you come into the United States as an immigrant can sometimes be complicated. Trying to figure out which documents you need might be one of the more complicated aspects of trying to find employment. Recently, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services issued guidance that might make that aspect of finding employment a little easier.

With the updated guidance, a driving privileges card that is issued by a state is a valid form of identification if it has a photo or identifying information. The form is now found on List B on I-9 employment forms. The identifying information can include eye color, address, birth date, name, height or sex.

While it is possible for legal immigrants to get driver's privileges in all states, there are 10 states that allow undocumented immigrants to get driving privileges cards. That means that those cards would all qualify as valid documents for obtaining work in the U.S.

This new guidance doesn't mean that all employers will readily hire immigrants. There are very stiff penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants. This new guidance from USCIS might put some employers in a tough predicament because of the fact that some undocumented immigrants might have driver privileges cards.

People who are seeking employment in the U.S. will still have to prove that they are allowed to work in this country. List C on the I-9 form contains a list of documents that prove this authorization. This means that anyone seeking a job should still have his or her paperwork and documentation in order before applying for a job.

Source:, "Drivers licenses for illegal immigrants now accepted as employment documents," Bruce Parker, July 16, 2015

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