2021 to bring driving privileges to non-U.S. citizens in Virginia

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RICHMOND, VA (WVNS) — The Virginia General Assembly has authorized non-U.S. citizens to have driving privileges. The new driver privilege cards will be available starting on Jan. 2, 2021.

The cards are for those who are ineligible for a standard or REAL-ID compliant driver’s license in Virginia. Applications will be accepted by appointment only. These can be made at the Virginia DMV website.

The criteria for eligibility is as follows:

  • You are a non-U.S. citizen who is a resident of Virginia
  • You have reported income from Virginia sources or are claimed as a dependent on a tax return filed in Virginia in the past 12 months
  • You do not have a driving privilege that is currently suspended or revoked in Virginia or any other state, to include insurance-related infractions.

“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. 

There are several documents that must be presented to obtain the driver privilege card. These are as follows:

  • Two proofs of identity (e.g. foreign passport and Consular identification document issued by country of citizenship)
  • Two proofs of Virginia residency (e.g. monthy 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 or ITIN letter)
  • Tax return documentation (e.g. Virginia Resident Form, Virginia Past-Year Resident Income Tax Return Form, filed in the past 12 months)

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

Applicants will be required to pass a vision screening. They are encouraged to make an appointment for the new year, study and prepare for the tests at the Virginia DMV website. An information session was held on Monday night and streamed on Facebook.

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