Ohio BMV to grant licenses to DACA recipients

Community Leaders;  Late this afternoon the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles announced that they will begin granting driver’s licenses to qualified young recipients of the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

You can find the BMV announcement herehttp://www.publicsafety.ohio.gov/links/MR2013/03-29-13_DACAv2.pdf 

Announced in 2012, DACA granted to certain undocumented young people who were brought to the United States by their parents as children, and who attended school or served in the military in the U.S. deferred action status. This meant that they would not be deported for a renewable two-year term, and would be granted a work permit and an attendant social security number. Previously, Ohio BMV branches had been inconsistent in granting or not granting licenses to Ohio’s DACA recipients. Many in the community sought an announcement of a uniform policy, and the State has just adopted one. 

While the BMV will grant these licenses, as 37 states already have chosen to do, Ohio is one of just a few states that will take the additional step of verifying applicants’ DACA paperwork with the United State Customs and Immigration Services. As DACA applicants must apply and file with the same agency, this additional verification measure seems aimed at preventing fraud. 

Please distribute this information to your networks. If you or those in your community have questions, comments or concerns please contact me. 

Thank you for your time and your commitment to you community. I wish each of you a happy Easter holiday. 




Nolan Stevens, J.D.

Public Policy Officer

Ohio Latino Affairs Commission ~ Advise.Connect.Build.


Riffe Center ~ 18th Floor

77 South High Street

Columbus, OH 43215-6108

Office: (614) 466-8333

Direct: (614) 728-8364

Cell: (614) 266-0415

Fax: (614) 995-0896






 Additional Federal Database Check Will Guard Against Fraud 

 COLUMBUS – Today the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) instructed the state’s Deputy Registrars to begin issuing temporary driver licenses to qualified Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) grantees, but only after first confirming applicants’ immigration documents via the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) database. The extra security steps are designed to combat fraud or the use of counterfeit documents. BMV’s decision was established after reviewing guidance expressed by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine that DACA grantees are eligible for temporary driver licenses under Ohio law. The BMV’s instructions to Deputy Registrars will ensure consistent procedures are followed statewide when issuing the temporary licenses. Confirmation of applicants’ immigrant documents will be made via the federal government’s immigration database to verify their authenticity. Upon verification of applicants’ documents they will be issued a non-renewable/temporary license valid for the time period of their work authorization issued by USCIS, not to exceed two years.

The federal government allows DACA grantees to work in the U.S. during the two year length of their DACA status. Individuals are eligible for DACA status if: they arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16; have no criminal history; are currently in school; have graduated from high school or received a general education development (GED) certificate; have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and are under the age of 31.

Currently 37 other states also issue temporary drivers licenses to DACA grantees. Ohio is one of the few states to take the extra step of also confirming applicants’ immigration documents through the federal government’s database. 

To view a summary of the Deputy Registrar directive, click here: http://www.publicsafety.ohio.gov/links/save-3-29-13.pdf