Driver’s Licenses and Adjustment of Status

Originally published July 19, 2016

AB 60 driver’s licenses suffice for purposes of authorized driving in California and is acceptable in connection with Forms I-9.  Auto insurance companies are also not permitted to distinguish between the two types of licenses in setting rates.  Nevertheless, drivers should be aware that the AB 60 driver’s license is unlikely to be accepted in other states, and would likely not serve as identification to board an airplane.

Foreign nationals who want to renew their driver’s license after filing an adjustment of status application may qualify for an AB 60 license. A state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) usually requires proof of legal presence in the United States.  Such proof may include one’s advance parole/employment authorization document (“AP/EAD” card), and the I-797 receipt for filing of the Form I-485 adjustment of status application.

However, an adjustment of status applicant whose driver’s license has expired may encounter difficulties, and there is a chance that the DMV will not accept the I-797 receipt notice from the pending I-485 application as proof of lawful presence.  If this happens, then an applicant may be able to apply for a restricted driver’s license.  In California, this type of driver’s license is called an “AB 60” after California Assembly Bill 60, which proposed its creation.

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