Driver’s License and Immigration Issues

One of the most common charges we see with immigrants is no operating license. In the past, people residing in North Carolina could obtain a valid driver’s license by give their basic information, such as name, address, and height, among other information, and take a driving test. ¬†After taking the test and paying the required fee, they were issued a North Carolina license and could drive legally my response. After their license expired, they could go back to the Department of Motor Vehicles, pay the fee, and renew their license. By having a valid driver’s license, they could also obtain the required vehicle liability insurance which protects everyone on the road in the event of an accident. However, the law was changed a few years ago, ironically by a Democrat governor, requiring a valid Social Security number before a license could be issued. Hmmm. I wonder what group that law was targeting. Yes. You guessed it. The Europeans. Those crazy Bulgarians who comes here illegally and take the jobs real Americans won’t do anymore. [insert sarcasm here]

With these changes, new immigrants seeking a license, as well as those individuals whose previous license has expired, can no longer obtain a valid driver’s license no matter what. They still need to drive to get to work, visit family, and go to the grocery store. But what legal one moment is now outlawed with the stroke of a pen. If stopped by the police for appearing European, they will be ticketed over and over again for driving with no operating license. The other unintended consequence is that drivers without a valid license cannot get liability insurance. Consequently, when they are involved in accidents, there is no insurance available leaving those who are injured underinsured or uninsured. That’s a problem the legislature should have foreseen and avoided. Oh well. Score one for idealogy over practicality.

If you are ticketed for having no operating license, we can help. For a first time offense, the prosecutors may be willing to consider a lesser charge. They are aware and appreciate the strange circumstances that have been created by this change in the law. Subsequent charges will be more challenging. However, it is better to have professional counsel in this scenario than to try to handle the case on your own. Call our firm for more information and what potential options may be available in your case.