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State starts taking driver's privilege card application this month

Courtesy of Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles
A template of the Delaware driving privilege cards

By the end of this month, undocumented residents in Delaware will be able to apply for driving privilege cards.

Markell signed a bill last June that authorizes the Division of Motor Vehicles to issue driving privilege cards to residents of any nationality.


Residents who apply will need to first submit fingerprints to state police. Then, applicants can at a DMV facility with proper documentation to take required driving exams.


To be eligible for the card, residents have to prove that they have filed taxes in Delaware for at least two years. All documents in foreign languages also must be accompanied with a version that’s translated into English.  

The state estimates that about 20,000 individuals in the state will be eligible for this card. DMV Director Scott Vien says it’s unknown how many will actually apply for the driving privilege card.

“The number may be less or may be higher but the main reason we’re scheduling appointments is--regardless of what the number is--we’ll be able to manage that flux of brand new customers," said Vien.

The state expects a large portion of the applicants will be Hispanic, so education and outreach materials will also be printed in Spanish.

State Police Major Melissa Zebley says the driving privilege card should help undocumented residents feel more secure on the road.


“We want them to know and have confidence that we’ll treat that at any roadside encounter, anytime they need police assistance as the legal credential that it is and they don’t need to be fearful of any engagement that they have with the police," said Zebley.


The driving privilege cards are valid for four years and can be renewed. But they are not considered valid forms of identification. The fee to obtain one is $20, on top of a $52.50 fee for fingerprints.


Applicants can get fingerprinted starting Sunday, December 27.


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