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U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Presence Requirement

Learn more about other documents that must be presented when applying for or renewing a driver license or ID card.

To reduce the risk of identity theft, enhance security and protect the integrity of the licensing process, individuals must present one document from the appropriate category below to verify their U.S. citizenship or lawful presence status.

When at the driver license office, the Customer Service Representative (CSR) will verify the period of lawful presence with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A driver license or ID card cannot be issued until the period of lawful presence is verified by DHS. If the CSR is unable to immediately verify the information electronically, the individual will be given instructions on what to do next.

Please see the Verifying Lawful Presence guide for more information on the different immigration statuses, whether or not each group is eligible for a driver license or ID card and the specific documents needed to apply.

NOTE: The “Verifying Lawful Presence” is for informational purposes only and does not ensure a driver license or ID card will be issued.

Licenses and ID Cards

In addition to lawful presence, individuals must meet other requirements to obtain a Texas driver license or ID card.

Applicants who are not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, lawful permanent resident, refugee or asylee may be eligible for a nonresident commercial driver license.

Renewals

Due to DHS verification processing time, applicants are encouraged to renew their driver license or ID card early.

Acceptable Documents

To determine what documents will be accepted to verify citizenship or lawful presence status, please click on the appropriate category below.

NOTE: A brochure listing all of the following documents is available for download.

   U.S. Citizens

Individuals who are U.S. citizens can present one of the following documents for verification through DHS.

  • U.S. passport book or card
  • Birth certificate issued by a U.S. state, U.S. territory or District of Columbia
  • For U.S. citizens born abroad—Certificate of Report of Birth (DS-1350 or FS-545) or Consular Report of Birth (FS-240) issued by the U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Certificate of Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization (N-560, N-561, N-645, N-550, N-55G, N-570 or N-578)
  • U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service U.S. Citizen ID Card (Form I-197 or I-179)
   U.S. Nationals, Lawful Permanent Residents, Refugees and Asylees

Individuals who are U.S. nationals, lawful permanent residents, refugees or asylees can present one of the following documents for verification through DHS. (Documents may be expired unless otherwise noted.)

  • U.S. passport that reads, “THE BEARER IS A UNITED STATES NATIONAL AND NOT A UNITED STATES CITIZEN” on the last page
  • Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551)
  • Foreign passport with attached temporary I-551 (immigrant visa endorsed with ADIT stamp)
  • Passport or I-94 stamped “Approved I-551”
  • Passport or I-94 stamped “Processed for I-551”
  • Permit to Reenter the United States (Form I-327)
  • I-94 or passport with annotation “Section 207” or “refugee”
  • Refugee Travel Document (Form I-571)
  • I-688B coded 274a.12(a)(3)
  • I-766 with category A3 or A03
  • I-94 or passport with annotation “Section 208” or “asylee”
  • I-688B coded 274a.12(a)(5)
  • I-766 with category A5 or A05
  • Refugee Travel Letter with photo, stamped by Customs and Border Protection
   Temporary Visitors

A temporary visitor is anyone who is not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, lawful permanent resident, refugee or asylee.

A temporary visitor who wants to apply for a limited term driver license or ID card must provide one of the following documents for verification through DHS. (Documents may be expired unless otherwise noted.)

  • A document (or combination of documents) issued by the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Homeland Security or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that shows lawful temporary admission to the U.S.

Limited term licenses and ID cards issued to temporary visitors expire when the person’s period of lawful presence expires.