A new kind of driver license for legal non-citizens

A new kind of driver license for legal non-citizens

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Currently, people who aren't United States citizens but are still allowed to be in the country legally can get only a driver privilege card, which can't be used as a legal ID.

Beginning Jan. 1, non-citizens who can prove they're in the United States legally can get what's called a "limited-term" license.

Utah Driver License Division Director Nannette Rolfe says, "[They're] more recognized by the federal government as a regular license because they are in the country legally and they can prove their legal status."

Rolfe says the new licenses will expire when the person's legal status does.

"If they are in the country three years and their federal documents show they're in the country for three years, that's what will reflect on the license," she says.

People who can't prove they're in the United States legally will still be able to get driver privilege cards.

You may think this only affects people born outside of the United States, but Rolfe says this new rule affects everyone.

License renewal online and by mail will go away for five years to make sure the legal status of all people applying for or renewing their license is verified.

"You do, now, have to prove your status in the country," Rolfe says.

She says this includes providing legal documentation proving your status. That way, the division will know what kind of license to give.

Since Utah licenses are on a five-year renewal plan, the division thinks it will take that long to verify everyone's status.

E-mail: pnelson@ksl.com

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