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LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
OFFICE OF MOTOR VEHICLES
Section:I Issuance of Driver's LicenseEffective: 06/12/2002
Number:6.02Revised: 02/14/2018

DRIVER'S LICENSE ISSUANCE FOR ALIENS TEMPORARILY RESIDING IN LOUISIANA

POLICY:

To view Louisiana Statutes: http://www.legis.state.la.us/

AUTHORITY
Administrative
R.S. 32:405.1
R.S. 32:409.1

DEFINITIONS
All applicants for drivers' licenses or identification cards are required to present proof of identification as outlined by law.

For the purpose of clarification, aliens are divided into two groups:
  • Immigrants are aliens who are permanently residing in the United States of America. Immigrant status may be obtained through a number of different procedures and is granted for life. Immigrant status may be revoked for specific serious crimes such as treason, but this is not a common occurrence.
  • Non-immigrants are aliens who have been temporarily admitted to the United States.

US Department of Homeland Security
  • I-94 - Arrival Departure Record
  • I-129 - Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker
  • I-485 - Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status
  • I-20 - Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status for Academic and Language
  • I-20MN - Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant (M-1) Student Status - For Vocational Students
  • DS-2019 - Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor
  • VISA - A U.S. visa allows the bearer to apply for entry to the U.S. in a certain classification (i.e., such as student (F), visitor (B) or temporary worker (H)). A visa does not grant the bearer the right to enter the United States. Admission, length of stay and condition of stay will be determined by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) immigration inspectors. The terms and length of admission will be determined at that time and recorded on the Arrival/Departure Record (I-94 or I-94W) and in your passport.

REQUIREMENTS
The following documents presented by both immigrants and non-immigrants are considered primary documents for identification:
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Country of Nationality Passport

Effective 02/17/2009, a Non-Permanent Resident Alien must have at least four (4) years of legal presence remaining on his immigration documents when applying for a driver's license / ID card. If he has less than four years remaining, the credential will be issued with a variable expiration date (to reflect his last day of legal presence) and will display "Limited-Term".

NAME USAGE
Record the name as it is recorded on the Department of Homeland Security documentation presented. However, FNU (first name unknown) is not an acceptable name even though it may be present on the Department of Homeland Security document or passport. These applicants will not be issued a Louisiana driver's license or ID card.

IMMIGRANTS PERMANENTLY RESIDING IN THE UNITED STATES
ClassDescription/Details Alien Eligible for Social Security Number
Permanent Resident Card
I-551
Expired permanent resident cards (I-551) are acceptable. The card must be renewed through the Department of Homeland Security.

It may take up to eighteen months to receive the Permanent Resident Card after approval is granted. The immigrant will have an I-551 stamp in the passport proving his resident status. Immigrants may have an I-94 or an unexpired re-entry document with the I-551 stamp. The Department of Homeland Security may also indicate on the Passport Visa that it is temporary proof of permanent residency (I-551).

Note: I-151's are no longer acceptable.

Note: If the photograph on the I-551 was taken prior to the applicant's 14th birthday and the applicant is now over age 14, the applicant must be referred to the Department of Homeland Security for issuance of a new I-551 prior to processing the application. The Department of Homeland Security will issue a receipt for the updated I-551.
Yes
Applicants for Permanent Residency - I-485Application for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident is made on the I-485 form.

Applicants in the pending stage must show a receipt of application to the Department of Homeland Security. The receipt contains the applicant's name and the fees paid. The applicant may have an employment authorization document during the pending process.

Once approved for permanent residency, the passport will have a Department of Homeland Security stamp, "Processing for I-551." This stamp is proof of legal presence. The employment authorization document is picked up once this stamp is placed in the passport. Issuance of a permanent resident card may take up to 18 months.
Yes
RefugeeA person who flees to a foreign country or power to escape danger or persecution.

A refugee may or may not have a passport in his possession when applying for permanent status. The applicant must have Form I-94 with a status code indicating refugee. Applicant should present an employment authorization document.
Yes
AsyleeAn immigrant in the United States or port of entry who is seeking protection because he has suffered or fear that he will suffer persecution.

Applicant may also present an Asylum Approval Letter or Order of Asylum by an Immigration Judge.

Applicant should have an I-94 and a passport.
Yes

NON-IMMIGRANT ALIENS
Temporary Admittance to the United States of America
  • The following is a list of status codes that may be eligible for a Louisiana license or identification card. The attached listing is not inclusive. Other status codes may be considered for issuance of drivers' licenses and identification cards.
  • A non-immigrant must show, upon application for a Louisiana license or identification card, that there are AT LEAST 30 DAYS left on his I-94 or Employment Authorization Document. Otherwise, the applicant shall be denied a Louisiana license or identification card.
  • Canadian citizens may or may not have an I-94 card, but must obtain a status from the Department of Homeland Security for driver’s license or identification card issuance.
  • The I-94 document is acceptable in handwritten form or electronic printout from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  • An applicant will often present an I-94 that is expired, but the applicant will have a valid employment authorization document, or vice versa. If the applicant can present valid documentation, whether it is one document or several, that documentation will suffice for legal presence.

NOTE: Effective August 15, 2007, an alien with an H-2A VISA (agriculture workers) can be issued a license if he has at least 30 calendar days left on their VISA document.

NOTE: If a non-permanent resident is unable to timely renew his driver's license due to expired documents, he will not be charged a delinquent (late) fee upon renewal.

NON-IMMIGRANT ALIENS: Temporary Admittance to the United States
ClassDescription/DetailsDocumentation issued by The Department of Homeland Security for Legal Presence Social Security Eligibility
A-1Certain diplomats and their immediate family.
(Ambassador, Public Minister, Career Diplomat or Consular Officer or Immediate Family)
No Issuance by OMV
Exception is allowed only when an original letter on letterhead from the US Department of State, Office of Foreign Missions, is presented indicating that the individual is not accorded diplomatic immunity or privileges. The individual would have to have an I-94 in addition to the letter. Note: The letter is only valid 90 days from issuance.
No
A-2Certain diplomatic personnel and their immediate family. (Other Foreign Government Official or Employee or Immediate FamilyNo Issuance by OMV
Exception is allowed only when an original letter on letterhead from the US Department of State, Office of Foreign Missions, is presented indicating that the individual is not accorded diplomatic immunity or privileges. The individual would have to have an I-94 in addition to the letter. Note: The letter is only valid 90 days from issuance.
No
A-3Domestic staff of an A-1 or A-2 and the staff's person's immediate family (attendant, servant or personal employee of an A-1 or A-2 immediate family).No Issuance by OMV
Exception is allowed only when an original letter on letterhead from the US Department of State, Office of Foreign Missions, is presented indicating that the individual is not accorded diplomatic immunity or privileges. The individual would have to have an I-94 in addition to the letter. Note: The letter is only valid 90 days from issuance.
Yes
B-1Temporary visitor for businessNo Issuance by OMV
Exception is allowed only if an Employment Authorization Document is issued.
Yes (if EAD issued)
B-2Tourist (temporary visitor for pleasure)No Issuance by OMV
Exception is allowed only if an Employment Authorization Document is issued.
No
B-1/B-2/BCCCombination B-1/B-2 and Border Crossing CardNo Issuance by OMVNo
BCCBorder Crossing CardNo Issuance by OMVNo
C-1Alien in transit through the U.S.No Issuance by OMVNo
C-2Representative in transit to or from the United Nations Headquarters District. (Person in transit to United Nations Headquarters)No Issuance by OMVNo
C-3Government Representatives in transit through the U.S. (Foreign government official, immediate family, attendant, servant or personal employee in transit)No Issuance by OMVNo
C-1/DCombination transit/crew member visa No Issuance by OMVNo
DCrew member for sea or air No issuance by OMVNo
D-1Crewman staying on the same vessel No Issuance by OMV No
D-2Crewman changing to another vessel No Issuance by OMVNo
DV-1Diversity Visa WinnerI-129Yes
E-1Treaty Trader and their spouse and unmarried children under 21.I-94 or Employment Authorization Document for spouse No
E-2Treaty Investors and their spouse and unmarried children under 21I-94 or Employment Authorization Document for spouse No
E-3Australian Specialty Occupation WorkerI-94 or Employment Authorization Document No
E-3DSpouse or children under 21 of E-3I-94 or Employment Authorization Document for Spouse and I-94 for children under 21 No
E-3RReturning E-3I-94 or Employment Authorization DocumentNo
EX1Schedule - A Worker, New ArrivalsI-94 or Employment Authorization DocumentYes
F-1
See Note 1
Student
I-20
I-94
I-20 AB or Employment Authorization Document
Yes (If employed)
F-2
See Note 1
Spouse or child of student
F1’s I-20
I-94
I-20 AB
Yes (If employed)
F-3Canadian and Mexican Academic Students who commute across the U.S. land border to attend school within 75 miles of the border I-94 (Multiple Entry)
I-20
No
G-1Principal representative of certain international organization, accredited members, their staff and immediate family.No Issuance by OMV
Exception is allowed only when an original letter on letterhead from the US Department of State, Office of Foreign Missions, is presented indicating that the individual is not accorded diplomatic immunity or privileges. The individual would have to have an I-94 in addition to the letter. Note: The letter is only valid 90 days from issuance.
No
G-2Other accredited representatives of certain international organizations and their immediate familyNo Issuance by OMV
Exception is allowed only when an original letter on letterhead from the US Department of State, Office of Foreign Missions, is presented indicating that the individual is not accorded diplomatic immunity or privileges. The individual would have to have an I-94 in addition to the letter. Note: The letter is only valid 90 days from issuance.
No
G-3Persons who qualify under G-1 or G-2 except that the government is not recognized by the U.S. or is not a member of the international organization and their immediate family.No Issuance by OMV
Exception is allowed only when an original letter on letterhead from the US Department of State, Office of Foreign Missions, is presented indicating that the individual is not accorded diplomatic immunity or privileges. The individual would have to have an I-94 in addition to the letter. Note: The letter is only valid 90 days from issuance.
No
G-4International organization officer or employee, and immediate familyNo Issuance by OMV
Exception is allowed only when an original letter on letterhead from the US Department of State, Office of Foreign Missions, is presented indicating that the individual is not accorded diplomatic immunity or privileges. The individual would have to have an I-94 in addition to the letter. Note: The letter is only valid 90 days from issuance.
No
G-5Domestic staff of a person or family member with status as a G-1 through G-4 and the staff person's immediate familyNo Issuance by OMV
Exception is allowed only when an original letter on letterhead from the US Department of State, Office of Foreign Missions, is presented indicating that the individual is not accorded diplomatic immunity or privileges. The individual would have to have an I-94 in addition to the letter. Note: The letter is only valid 90 days from issuance.
No
H1Temporary worker of distinguished merit and abilityI-94 or Notice of Action Form I-129 (I-797) or Employment Authorization Document Yes
H1ATemporary worker performing services as a Registered NurseI-94 or
Notice Of Action I-129 (I797) or Employment Authorization Document
Yes
H1BTemporary worker of distinguished merit and ability performing services other than as a registered nurse.I-94 or
Notice Of Action I-129 (I797) or Employment Authorization Document
Yes
H-1 B-1Free Trade Agreement worker (Chile/Singapore) I-94 or Notice of Action form I-129 (I-797) or Employment Authorization Document Yes
H-1CNurse in health professional shortage area I-94 or Notice of Action form I-129 (I-797) or Employment Authorization Yes
H2ATemporary worker
Performing agricultural services unavailable in the United States
I-94 or
Notice Of Action I-129 (I797) or Employment Authorization Document
Yes
H2BTemporary worker performing other servicesI-94 or
Notice Of Action I-129 (I797) or Employment Authorization Document
Yes
H2RReturning H2B Worker I-94 or
Notice Of Action I-129 (I797) or
Employment Authorization Document
Yes
H-3Trainee and Special Education Exchange Program VisitorsI-94 or
Notice Of Action I-129 (I797) or Employment Authorization Document
Yes
H-4Spouse and unmarried children under 21 of H category workers and traineesI-94 or
Notice Of Action I-129 (I797) or
I-20 may attend school with an H-4 status
Yes if approved by Social Security
IRepresentative of foreign information media, spouse and unmarried children under 21 I-94 Yes - Principal
No- Spouse and children
J-1Exchange Visitor Program: may be a student, scholar, trainee, teacher, professor, research assistant, specialist or leader in a field of specialize knowledge or skillI-94
DS-2019
Yes (only if employed)
J-2
See Note 2
Spouse and unmarried children under 21 of a J-1 non-immigrantI-94
DS-2019
Employment Authorization Document (if employed)
Yes
K-1Fiancée of United States CitizenNo Issuance by OMV No
K-2Unmarried children under 21 of a K-1 non-immigrantNo Issuance by OMVNo
K-3Spouse of a U.S. Citizen awaiting availability of immigrant visaI-94 or Employment Authorization Document (if employed)Yes
K-4Certain unmarried children under 21 of a K-3 non-immigrant I-94 or Employment Authorization Document (if old enough to legally work in the U.S.Yes
L-1Intra-Company transferee
Employment verification
I-94 or
Notice Of Action I-129 (I797) or Employment Authorization Document
Yes
L-1AIntra-Company Transferees who are executives and managersI-94 or Notice of Action Form I-129 (I-797) or Employment Authorization Document Yes
L-1BIntra-Company Transferees who have qualifying specialized knowledgeI-94 or Notice of Action form I-129 (I-797) or Employment Authorization Document Yes
L-2Spouse and unmarried children under 21 of an L1A or L1B workerI-94 or Notice Of Action I-129 (I797) or Employment Authorization DocumentYes
M-1
See Note 1
Vocational studentI-94 or
I-20MN or
Employment Authorization Document (for practical training purposes only)
Yes
M-2
See Note 1
Spouse and unmarried children under 21 of an M-1 non-immigrantI-94 or I-20MN of M-1No
M-3Canadian and Mexican vocational students who commute across the U.S. land border to attend school within 75 miles of the borderI-94 or I-20 MN (Employment Authorization Document-for practical training purposes only) Yes if approved by Social Security
NATO 1-6NATO personnel on assignment in the U.S. No Issuance by OMV
Exception is allowed only when an original letter on letterhead from the U.S. Department of State, Office of Foreign Missions, is presented indicating that the individual is not accorded diplomatic immunity or privileges. The individual would have to have an I-94 in addition to the letter. NOTE: The letter is only valid for 90 days from issuance.
N-8Parent of an immigrant classified as SK-3 or SN3I-94 or Employment Authorization DocumentYes
N-9Children unmarried under 21 of N-8 or SK1-4, SN-1-2, or SN-4I-94 or Employment Authorization DocumentYes
O-1Non-immigrant with extraordinary abilities in science, arts, education, business or athleticsI-94 or Notice Of Action I-129 (I797)Yes
O-2Support personnel to an O-1 non-immigrant workerI-94 or Notice Of Action I-129 (I797)Yes
O-3Spouse or child of O-1/2 spouse and unmarried children under 21 of an O-1 or O-2 non-immigrantI-94 or Notice Of Action I-129 (I797)Yes
P-1Internationally recognized athlete or entertainment group memberI-94 or Notice Of Action I-129 (I797)Yes
P-2Artist or entertainer in a reciprocal exchange programI-94 or Notice Of Action I-129 (I797)Yes
P-3Artist or entertainer in a cultural exchange programI-94 or Notice Of Action I-129 (I797)Yes
P-4Spouse or Child of P1, P2, or P3I-94 or Notice Of Action I-129(I797) of P-1, P-2 or P-3Yes
Q-1Participants in an international culture exchange programI-94 Yes
R-1Alien in a religious occupationI-94 Yes
R-2Spouse or child of R-1I-94 Yes
S-5
S-6
S-7
Special interest alienI-94 No
TNNAFTA professional Canadian/Mexican CitizensI-94 or Notice Of Action I-129 (I797)Yes
TDSpouse or child of NAFTA Professional (TN)I-94 or Yes
V-1Spouse of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residencyI-94 or Employment Authorization DocumentYes
V-2An eligible spouse of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residenceI-94 or Employment Authorization DocumentYes
V-3A Child of either V-1 or V-2 if eligible to accompany or follow to join principal alien lawfully admittedI-94 or Employment Authorization DocumentYes
TWOVTransit without VISANo issuance by OMVNo
WTVisa Waiver Program Visitor for PleasureNo issuance by OMVNo
WBVisa Waiver Program Visitor for BusinessNo issuance by OMVNo
Order of Supervision
(OOS)
Issued to individuals who are ordered deported but are stateless and therefore, cannot be deported. Such an order grants legal presence.I-94 or Employment Authorization DocumentYes
ParoleesAn alien allowed into the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons.I-94 or Employment Authorization DocumentYes

NOTE 1
Student non-immigrants (F-1, J-1, M-1) are issued an I-20 or its equivalent which must be presented at time of application. The I-20 will list the school, length of the program and a contact person and phone number of the student representative at the school. If the I-20 indicates an out of state school, the applicant will need to submit a current document with a Louisiana address. If it is necessary to verify information for a non-immigrant, this contact information can be used to verify details.

Most non-immigrants with the number "2" in their status code will be dependents of another non-immigrant. Dependents accompanying student non-immigrants will be listed on the reverse side of the I-20. Dependents may or may not have their own I-20. Additional documentation to verify the dependent's status may require the submission of paperwork verifying the status of the non-immigrant they are accompanying.

NOTE 2
MINORS - FOREIGN EXCHANGE STUDENTS ONLY
In lieu of parent’s signature, a Power of Attorney executed by a minor's parent(s) and awarding legal guardianship of the minor child to another person is acceptable. This document must be maintained with the applicant's file. Applicant must meet all other requirements.

ALL MINORS
Effective 09/16/2013
  • Effective September 16, 2013, the minor applicant seventeen (17 years of age) must also present a completed Certification of Required Attendance form indicating his enrollment / attendance status. A current Certificate of Required School Attendance must be submitted or verified each time a minor makes application with the Office of Motor Vehicles (to lift the 02 restriction, be issued a duplicate, be issued a Class E (at age 17) or request a change of address). Effective 08/01/2014, the current school attendance form is valid for 90 days from the date of issuance.
  • For home study or registered nonpublic school students, the parent/guardian must submit one of the following documents each time a minor makes application with the OMV (as stated above) :
  • SBESE home study - signed and approved Home Study Approval Notification Letter. This letter is valid for one year from the date on the letter and must be renewed annually.
  • Private option - signed Registered Non-public School: Registration Confirmation Letter verifying registration of the non-public school. This letter is valid for one year from the date of the letter and must be renewed annually.
  • If the applicant has graduated or attained the high school equivalency diploma, he may present the diploma upon application in lieu of the Certification of Required Attendance.

NOTE 3
Fiancée of US citizen (K1): once married to a US citizen MUST provide the passport, marriage license certificate and Notice Of Action I-797 for change of status to be issued a DL/ID.

NOTE 4
Child of fiancée of US Citizen (K2): After K1 is married to a US citizen child MUST provide ALL documentation for first time issuance and Notice of Action I-797 for change of status to be issued a DL/ID.

NOTE 5 (NATO visa status)
The US Department of State has determined that an individual who is present in the United States in NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) visa status is not eligible to be licensed to drive or to obtain an identity card from the US Department of State. In fact, many of them are permitted by treaty to drive in the United States with their valid foreign driver's license with no additional documentation, or they may wish to seek a driver's license from their local Department of Motor Vehicles. In any case, due to their ineligibility for motor vehicle services from the US Department of State's Office of Foreign Missions (OFM), the Department has determined that there should be no need for any individuals present in the United States in NATO visa status to be required to present the Department's non eligibility letter to seek motor vehicle services from local jurisdictions.

EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION DOCUMENT
A photo ID issued by the Department of Homeland Security as evidence of employment authorization. The document is only valid during the validity period of the card. The employment authorization document has two form numbers, I-688B and I -766. Both forms are acceptable.

SOCIAL SECURITY REQUIREMENT
The Social Security requirement does not pertain to identification cards. However, if the Social Security number is provided, it should be accepted. R.S. 32:409.1 authorizes the collection of the Social Security Number on all drivers' licenses issued in this state. This pertains to first-time issuance, as well as renewals and duplicates. Collection of the Social Security Number should be taken from the card itself, or from an official written notification from the Social Security Administration, or from other officially recognized documents. Applicants transferring in from another state with a picture driver's license (which clearly identifies him) which specifically depicts the applicant's Social Security number need not present further proof. Even though several states use the Social Security number as the driver's license number, DO NOT ASSUME that the license number and the Social Security number are the same. The Social Security number should be listed separately in a specified field on the face of the license.

Any alien individual residing in Louisiana who does not possess and is ineligible to obtain a social security number shall be required to furnish a letter from the Social Security Administration stipulating they are "ineligible" or that they "have not been issued" a social security number for a Class D or E driver's license. If the non-immigrant Aliens chart listed above indicates "NO" in the "Alien Eligible for Social Security" column, this letter will not be required.

NOTE: CODOFIL is an special exchange program for language teachers to visit another country for one school year and teach in public schools. Applicants who present a letter from CODOFIL identifying them as a teacher associated with that program shall be exempted from the Social Security requirement, the 6 hour pre-licensing course and may retain their out of country license. These applicants will take the knowledge and road skills tests unless they are from a country with which we have a reciprocity agreement (Section I, Policy #18.01).

PROCEDURES
  • Each applicant for a driver's license must comply with all identification, driver education training, medical and vision requirements before the administration of any test.
  • All first time applicants presenting a foreign driver's license from a country that does not have a reciprocal agreement with the Department are required to furnish proof of driver education training. Depending on the applicant's age, one of the following must be submitted:
    1. A certificate of completion of a six (6) hour pre-licensing training course and eight (8) hours of behind-the-wheel instruction which has been approved by the Department of Public Safety & Corrections; OR
    2. A certificate of completion of a driver education course consisting of a minimum of thirty (30) hours classroom instruction and eight (8) hours of behind-the-wheel instruction which has been approved by the Department of Public Safety & Corrections; OR
    3. An "Application and School instruction Permit DE 1821 (R10/95)"; OR
    4. An official Louisiana high school letter certifying completion of the course; OR
    5. An official transcript from a Louisiana school which indicates that school course credit has been given for a driver's education course.
  • All first time applicants for a learner's permit must successfully pass the knowledge test. All first time applicants for a Class E driver's license must also pass a road skills test.
  • All applicants transferring to Louisiana that present a driver's license from a foreign country will be required to successfully complete the knowledge and road skills tests. Only those countries with which Louisiana has a reciprocity agreement will be exempt from this testing. Applicants may retain their out-of-country driver's license.

RELATED POLICIES
Section I 6.00 Identification Requirements
6.01 Driver’s Education Requirements
8.00 Authorization & Licensing of a Minor’s Application for Driver’s License
9.00 Vision Test for Class E and D
10.00 Written Examination
12.00 Outside Driving Tests
18.00 Out of State Transfers
18.01 Reciprocity with Other Countries
19.00 Identification Cards


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