Florida Won’t Honor Driver’s Licenses For Illegal Immigrants From Three New England States

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2023/07/06/florida-wont-honor-drivers-licenses-for-illegal-immigrants-from-three-new-england-states/

Just because a state issues driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, that does not mean Florida will honor them.

Governor Ron DeSantis announced this week that the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles deemed five out-of-state license classes invalid, including some three from New England states:  Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Florida officials are not taking similar action against illegal immigrants’ driver’s licenses from Massachusetts, which began issuing them to illegal immigrants on July 1.

The Florida state agency made the move in response to a new Florida law that took effect last week (SB 1718) that cracks down on illegal immigration. Its chief provision requires employers with 25 or more employees to use E-Verify in hopes of preventing illegal hiring. It also prevents Florida from issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants and says that any out-of-state licenses issued exclusively to illegal immigrants will not be considered valid in Florida.

“Someone who is in our country illegally and has violated our laws should not possess a government-issued ID which allows them access to state-funded services and other privileges afforded to lawful residents,” DeSantis said in a press release from his office. “The Biden administration may continue to abdicate its responsibilities to secure our border, but Florida will stand for the rule of law. Even if the federal government refuses, Florida will act decisively to protect our citizens, our state, and our country.”

Here are the five types of licenses the state will not honor, according to NBC Miami:


  • Connecticut licenses that say “Not For Federal Identification”
  • Delaware licenses that say “Driving Privilege Only” or “Not Valid for Identification”
  • Hawaii licenses that say “Limited Purpose Driver’s License” or “Limited Purpose Instruction Permit” or “Limited Purpose Provisional Driver’s License” or “Not Valid for use for official Federal purposes”
  • Rhode Island licenses that say “Not for Federal Identification” or “Driver Privilege Card” or “Driver Privilege Permit”
  • Vermont licenses that say “Not for REAL ID Purposes Driver’s Privilege Card” or “Not for REAL ID Purposes Junior Driver’s Privilege Card” or “Not for REAL ID Purposes Learner’s Privilege Card”


Under the new Florida law, those caught driving with one of these five licenses in Florida can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, a crime that carries up to a one-year prison sentence.

Florida Highway Patrol Colonel Gary Howze II said the new rule prioritizes safety.

“This bill is about safety and security. When we enforce it, we ensure that the individuals we encounter are who they say they are and that they are welcome to enjoy all that the state has to offer,” Howze said in the press release. “Our priority is public safety and keeping our communities safe. We are committed to anything we can do to further that endeavor.”

Although illegal immigrants have been eligible to obtain driver’s licenses in Massachusetts since July 1, 2023, the Florida law does not apply to those licenses. That is because Massachusetts offers an identical license to illegal immigrants as it does for lawful residents. Therefore, Florida law enforcement cannot tell if a Massachusetts resident is an illegal immigrant based on a Massachusetts driver’s license alone.

Massachusetts is one of 19 states where illegal immigrants can obtain driver’s licenses.

A press spokesman for DeSantis and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles could not be reached for comment on Wednesday or Thursday.


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