TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In a move aimed at reinforcing the state’s commitment to immigration laws, Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Wednesday July 5th, 2023 that the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) has released a list of out-of-state driver license classes that are deemed invalid in Florida as of July 1, 2023. This action comes as a result of the implementation of Senate Bill (SB) 1718, stringent anti-illegal immigration legislation signed by Governor DeSantis earlier this year.
Governor DeSantis, who has been vocal about his opposition to illegal immigration, expressed his firm stance on the matter. “Someone who is in our country illegally and has violated our laws should not possess a government-issued ID which allows them access to state-funded services and other privileges afforded to lawful residents,” he stated. “The Biden administration may continue to abdicate its responsibilities to secure our border, but Florida will stand for the rule of law. Even if the federal government refuses, Florida will act decisively to protect our citizens, our state, and our country.”
SB 1718 includes provisions that prohibit the issuance of driver’s licenses to individuals who cannot provide proof of lawful presence in the United States. Moreover, it explicitly states that out-of-state driver licenses issued exclusively to undocumented immigrants are considered invalid within the state of Florida. Those found presenting an invalid out-of-state driver’s license during a traffic stop will be subject to the penalties outlined in Section 322.03 of the Florida Statutes.
The FLHSMV has made the list of invalid licenses available to the public on its official website. This comprehensive resource aims to inform visitors and ensure that they are aware of the licenses that are no longer accepted within the state.
Dave Kerner, the Executive Director of FLHSMV, emphasized the importance of strict enforcement of SB 1718. “This legislation supports two of our primary goals: to enhance homeland security and to interdict criminal activity,” Kerner stated. “It communicates our state policy that Florida will not provide incentives to undocumented immigrants while reminding criminal cartels and those who are planning to unlawfully cross our national border that Florida should not be their destination of choice. Florida will not accept driver’s licenses from those who cannot provide proof of lawful presence in the United States. By doing this, we commit to a safer Florida.”
Colonel Gary Howze II of the Florida Highway Patrol echoed Kerner’s sentiments, emphasizing that the primary objective is to ensure public safety. “Our priority is public safety and keeping our communities safe. We are committed to anything we can do to further that endeavor,” Colonel Howze stated.
The list of out-of-state license classes that are deemed invalid in Florida was published on July 1, 2023. It should be noted that this list is subject to change periodically due to revisions in driver license issuance requirements in other states.
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