More than a License to Drive: State Restrictions on the Use of Driver's Licenses by Noncitizens
Southern Illinois University Law Journal, Vol. 29, Fall 2004-2005
38 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2008 Last revised: 5 May 2016
Date Written: August 6, 2008
This article surveyed the state driver's licenses laws of the 50 states with regard to granting them to noncitizens of the United States. After an examination of the states' regulations that restrict noncitizens from obtaining driving licenses, I propose a typology of the predominant statutory regimes that the research disclosed. Following the typological analysis, the article analyzes the constitutionality of the various schemes and addresses the moral arguments regarding this legislation. Using political theory principles and the philosophical theory regarding discipline and punishment of Michel Foucault, I argue that the states driver's license regulatory schemes are a form of social control of immigrants, and conclude that the debate over licensing for noncitizens responds to these larger societal concerns and conflicts in the status of noncitizens in the United States.
Keywords: driver's licenses, state driver's license law, noncitizens, Immigration Law, immigrants, Michel Foucault, societal concerns
JEL Classification: K19, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation