Proving Your Lawful Status

You need one document to prove your lawful status in the United States when you apply for a new driver’s license, permit or identification card.

Customers with questions about collecting their documents can call the BMV toll-free at 888-692-6841 and speak with a customer service representative for help or visit any BMV branch for assistance.

In most cases, the document presented to prove your identity will also prove your lawful status in the United States. The most common documents used to prove your lawful status include:

  • United States birth certificate. Must be an original or certified copy filed with a U.S. state or territory office of vital statistics or equivalent agency in your state of birth.  Puerto Rican-born citizens must provide a birth certificate issued on or after July 1, 2010.
  • United States passport.
  • Foreign passport with a visa and I-94 form.
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad.

All Documents Proving Lawful Status

The full list of documents proving your lawful status includes:

  • United States birth certificate. Must be an original or certified copy filed with a U.S. state or territory office of vital statistics or equivalent agency in your state of birth.  Puerto Rican-born citizens must provide a birth certificate issued on or after July 1, 2010.
  • Amended birth certificate showing a change of legal name, date of birth, or gender. The amended birth certificate must have been filed with a state office of vital statistics in your state of birth.
  • United States passport.
  • Foreign passport with a United States visa affixed and accompanied by an approved I-94 form documenting your most recent admittance into, or current status in, the United States.
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by Department of State (Form FS-240, Form DS-1350, or Form FS-545).
  • Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or Form N-570).
  • Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-560 or Form N-561).
  • Permanent Resident Card issued by Department of Homeland Security or United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (Form I-551).
  • Employment Authorization Document issued by Department of Homeland Security (Form I-766).

Additional lawful status document

You may also present a Notice of Action document or other documents pertaining to your Notice of Action issued by a United States federal agency to show lawful status (Form I-797). The BMV must be able to verify that the Department of Homeland Security has reviewed the document and has not denied action. Must accompany other United States Citizenship and Immigration Services documents.

Submitting Acceptable Documents

The BMV will only accept original documents or certified copies from the issuing agency. The BMV may refuse any document appearing to be fraudulent, unreliable, altered, or expired. All documents must be in English or be presented with a verifiably accurate English translation. Your legal name and date of birth on documents presented to the BMV must match Social Security Administration records.