U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Presence Requirement

September 22, 2020

 

NOTE: If you have recently applied for an original or renewal of a Limited-Term Texas driver license or identification card and your period of lawful presence required additional verification, visit our License Eligibility page to determine if the Department has received a response from DHS.

To reduce the risk of identity theft, enhance security and protect the integrity of the licensing process, individuals must present one document from the appropriate category below to verify their U.S. citizenship or lawful presence status.

When at the driver license office, the license and permit specialist will verify the period of lawful presence with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A driver license or ID card cannot be issued until the period of lawful presence is verified by DHS. If the specialist is unable to immediately verify the information electronically, an additional verification is initiated and the individual will be given instructions on what to do next.

Please see the Verifying Lawful Presence guide for more information on the different immigration statuses, whether or not each group is eligible for a driver license or ID card and the specific documents needed to apply.

NOTE: The "Verifying Lawful Presence" guide is for informational purposes only and does not ensure a driver license or ID card will be issued. Select the following link to download more information on How to Complete Lawful Presence Verification.

Licenses and ID Cards

In addition to lawful presence, individuals must meet other requirements to obtain a Texas driver license or ID card.

Applicants who are not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, lawful permanent resident, refugee or asylee may be eligible for a nonresident commercial driver license.

Renewals

Due to DHS verification processing time, applicants are encouraged to renew their driver license or ID card at least seven days prior to expiration.

Acceptable Documents

To determine what documents will be accepted to verify citizenship or lawful presence status, please click on the appropriate category below.

NOTE: A brochure listing all of the following documents is available for download.

   

U.S. Citizens

Individuals who are U.S. citizens can present one of the following documents for verification through DHS.

  • Valid, unexpired U.S. passport book or U.S. passport card
  • Original or certified copy of a birth certificate issued by a State Bureau of Vital Statistics or equivalent agency from a U.S. territory, or District of Columbia

    NOTE: Because Puerto Rican statute provides that Puerto Rican birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010 are no longer valid, the Department cannot recognize these birth certificates as proof of identification or lawful presence.
  • Original or certified copy of Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) (Form FS-240) or Certificate of Report of Birth (DS-1350 or FS-545) issued by the U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Citizenship Certificate or Certificate of Naturalization with identifiable photo (N-550, N-560, N-561, N-570 or N-578)
  • U.S. Citizen identification card (Form I-179 or I-197)

   

U.S. Nationals, Lawful Permanent Residents, Refugees and Asylees

Individuals who are U.S. nationals, lawful permanent residents, refugees or asylees can present one of the following documents for verification through DHS. (Documents may be expired unless otherwise noted.)

  • Valid, unexpired U.S. passport book or U.S. passport card stating, “THE BEARER IS A UNITED STATES NATIONAL AND NOT A UNITED STATES CITIZEN” on the last page
  • Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551)
  • Machine Readable Immigrant Visa with temporary I-551 language and ADIT stamp
  • Valid, unexpired foreign passport, visa (Visa may be valid or expired) with valid I-94
  • Valid, unexpired employment authorization document (EAD), (I-766)