No, Hawaii does not give driver’s licenses to illegal aliens
USA Today recently stated that Hawaii is among a handful of states that provide driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. Can this be true?
Answer: The USA Today story said 10 states, including Hawaii, "do not require license applicants to demonstrate that they are lawfully present in the United States, in effect granting driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Most of those states do require applicants to present an identification card issued by their home country."
While Hawaii does not require "legal presence as a condition of obtaining a driver's license," that does not mean an illegal immigrant can just walk in and get a Hawaii driver's license.
Hawaii law (Section 286-111 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes) requires that an applicant present a valid Social Security card "as a condition of licensure," explained Dennis Kamimura, the city's administrator of Motor Vehicle & Licensing.
Those without a Social Security card are referred to the Social Security Administration, which will determine whether they are authorized to work in the United States and therefore entitled to a Social Security number, he said.
If the Social Security Administration determines that the applicant is not eligible to obtain an Social Security number for nonwork purposes in the United States, the applicant then has to submit a letter from the Social Security Administration stating that fact and providing either a government-issued photo ID or other acceptable identification.
The city has established procedures for the Social Security Administration to fax a letter directly to its licensing facilities regarding Social Security numbers, Kamimura said.
He also said this part of the law was passed by the state Legislature because several consulates, including those of Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines, "wanted to ensure that non-U.S.-born business people, students and others, including the family members of these individuals, who remain in the U.S. for more than 12 months would be able to obtain a driver license."
Kamimura said the city does not keep statistics on the number of applicants referred to the Social Security Administration. Additionally, all driver 's license applicants are required to provide proof of legal name and date of birth, he said.
"If a foreign applicant was not born in the United States, the only acceptable documents for proof of legal name and date of birth are a valid foreign passport with appropriate immigration documents; a Certificate of Citizenship; a Certificate of Naturalization; an I-551 Resident Alien Card; an I-688 Temporary Resident Identification Card; or an I-688B, I-766 Employment Authorization Card.
To the driver of a pickup truck who ran a stop sign at high speed near Pahoa and 22nd avenues on the night of Dec. 2. I didn't get your license number, but if I had I would have reported your reckless driving to HPD. Next time you may not be so lucky. -- Kaimuki Motorist
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