Starting Jan. 4, undocumented immigrants and other people lacking the usual required identification for driver’s licenses will be able to apply for a limited-purpose driver’s license, according to the Hawaii Department of Transportation.

Gov. David Ige signed a bill this summer that established limited-purpose instructional permits and provisional driver’s licenses for teens, in addition to the limited-purpose driver’s licenses.

The license is only valid for driving in Hawaii and cannot be used as federal ID for registering to vote or receiving public benefits. The Transportation Security Administration will not accept the ID to pass through airport security.

Applicants do not have to show proof of “legal presence” or a social security number, but they do need to be able to verify their legal name, date of birth and residence within Hawaii.

Approximately 3.1 percent of Hawaii’s residents cannot show proof of lawful presence in the United States, according to the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice. And a 2011 study by Pew Research found that 4.6 percent of Hawaii’s labor force is made up of undocumented workers.

Supporters say that limited-use licenses help ensure that more people on the road are equipped with the proper skills to drive. So far, 12 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, have enacted legislation that provides access to a driver’s license regardless of immigration status.

15 dec 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Undocumented immigrants will be able to apply for limited-use driver’s licenses starting Jan. 4. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

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