Florida Makes 5 Out-of-State Driver’s Licenses Invalid Under New Immigration Law

As part of strict immigration legislation signed into law by controversial Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, new rules come into effect on July 1 that make particular driver’s licenses from five states no longer considered valid in Florida. 

The bill, known as SB 1718, aims to combat illegal immigration by prohibiting the issuance of a driver’s license to individuals who cannot provide proof of lawful presence in the United States.

Under the new law, individuals presenting an out-of-state license without valid proof of lawful presence during a traffic stop will be subject to a citation for driving without a valid license. To clarify the invalid license classes, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles published a list:

  • Connecticut licenses labeled “Not For Federal Identification,” 
  • Delaware licenses with “Driving Privilege Only” or “Not Valid for Identification,” 
  • Hawaii licenses with “Limited Purpose” designations, 
  • Rhode Island licenses marked “Not for Federal Identification” or “Driver Privilege,” and 
  • Vermont licenses specifying “Not for REAL ID Purposes” are considered invalid in Florida.

Moreover, SB 1718 imposes additional measures to address illegal immigration. Private companies employing more than 25 individuals are now required to use E-Verify, an online employment verification system, to confirm the legal employment eligibility of their workers. Employers found to knowingly employ undocumented immigrants will face penalties, the severity of which will depend on the number of undocumented workers involved.

In addition, Florida hospitals that accept Medicaid must now document whether patients are United States citizens or undocumented immigrants. However, medical care will not be affected by citizenship or legal status, and undocumented patients will not be reported to immigration authorities.

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DeSantis, attributing the current crisis at the southern border to the Biden administration, stated that the new legislation and the crackdown on licenses are necessary to protect Florida from illegal immigration. He emphasized that individuals who violate the country’s laws by being in the United States illegally should not possess government-issued IDs granting access to state-funded services and privileges designated for lawful residents.

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Critics of the new immigration legislation argue that it is one of the strictest state laws in the nation and significantly impacts Florida’s estimated 775,000 undocumented immigrants, making their lives more challenging. Despite this criticism, DeSantis remains resolute in his commitment to uphold the rule of law and protect Florida’s citizens and state.

Information for this story was found via NBC Miami, Twitter, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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