Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said the Department of Motor Vehicles is not required to accept a federal work permit as proof that a driver's license applicant is legally in the United States.
The opinion follows a request for clarification from the DMV Commissioner.
Virginia law requires applicants to present proof of legal residence to obtain a license. Cuccinelli now says that the DMV has the authority to decide which documents to accept.
The permit in question -- called an Employment Authorization Document -- is issued to people who are in the country temporarily and seeking employment. It does not necessarily prove legal residence.
The DMV stopped allowing it earlier this year after a Bolivian immigrant used one to obtain a license despite previous drunk driving convictions and deportation proceedings. He was later involved in a crash that killed a nun in Prince William County.
Cuccinelli said it is within the DMV Commissioner's discretion to discontinue acceptance of the Employment Authorization Document.
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