The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP) supported legislation during the 2016, 2017, 2018, & 2019 General Assembly sessions to give immigrant communities access to driving privileges. We are excited that a driving privileges bill finally passed during the 2020 General Assembly session.

Unfortunately, due to the opposition of state senators, Virginia was not able to pass a full driver’s license for all, but instead passed a law creating a driver’s privilege card. Nonetheless, this drivers privilege card legislation will allow hundreds of thousands of Virginians the opportunity to lawfully drive. Privilege cards were made available to those of differing immigration status beginning in January of 2021.

While this is a huge win- we also want to ensure we are protecting the privacy of our neighbors in this process, and increasing language access to ensure that individuals feel prepared to pass the test. Make sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter and receive more information about further legislative advocacy opportunities and information on implementation!


People living, working and paying taxes in Virginia should not find themselves in deportation proceedings due to minor administrative violations. The majority of deported immigrants find themselves in ICE’s dragnet due to infractions such as driving without a license. By granting access to driving privileges, law-abiding Virginians will not be permanently separated from their homes and families due to such a minor charge.

In Virginia, most people need to drive to go to work, school, the doctor. Parents of differing immigration status are often excluded from participating in their children’s school and extracurricular activities because they cannot show Virginia identification. This not only marginalizes deeply involved parents, but exacerbates the unequal playing field for their children.

VICPP favors all drivers being held to the same standard of knowledge and skill. Ineligibility for a driver’s license or privilege card means that Virginians of different immigration status are not required to meet that standard. All drivers should know the rules of the road. States that have opened driving access to all, regardless of immigration status, have seen a dramatic decrease in traffic accidents (see ‘Hands on the Wheel’ by the Commonwealth Institute below).

All Virginians are safer when all drivers meet the same standards. Families are stronger when all parents are involved in their children’s activities. The economy flourishes when barriers to participation diminish. Virginia's collective spirit thrives when all are safe and free