Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program

Wisconsin driver licenses and identification cards and the Federal Deferred Action program

Under the Deferred Action program, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) may choose to allow individuals who are not U.S. Citizens to remain in the country for a specified amount of time, even if those individuals might otherwise be subject to removal from the United States. A person who obtains permission from the USDHS is granted a Deferred Action notice.

Wisconsin law requires people applying for a driver license or identification card to demonstrate legal presence in the United States. The Wisconsin Attorney General has determined that an approved Deferred Action status notice satisfies the legal presence requirement of Wisconsin law. Pursuant to this determination, the Department of Transportation will issue driver licenses to qualified applicants who prove their legal presence with valid Deferred Action notices as required by law.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will my driver license or identification card expire if I used a Deferred Action notice to obtain it?

Your product expires upon the expiration of your Deferred Action notice, but a Deferred Action notice shall be valid no more than two years.

What can a driver license or identification card be used for?

The driver license has been designed to serve as evidence that you are licensed to drive certain classes of motor vehicles on public roadways. Many people also use their driver license or identification card as a general form of personal identification for banking, retail and other transactions. Under current law, you may also use your driver license to board an airplane and to access certain federal facilities.

What limits might apply to the use of my driver license or identification card?

A driver license verifies that you are currently licensed to drive a certain class/classes of motor vehicles. Eligibility to vote or to apply for or receive public benefits is governed by the rules and laws of those programs. Mere issuance of a driver license or identification card does not make an individual eligible to vote or receive benefits they would otherwise not be eligible to receive. Individuals who are not citizens of the U.S. are not allowed to vote in elections.

Questions? Contact us: Wisconsin DMV email service

Last modified: November 29, 2012
BDS/DIS

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