Can I Get a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) if I Am Undocumented?

Can I Get a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) if I Am Undocumented?

If you have a job that requires you to drive others or drive a large truck, you are likely to need a commercial driver’s license (CDL). CDLs are commonly required for semi drivers, chauffeurs, and taxi drivers. While some states permit undocumented immigrants to obtain regular driver’s licenses, state laws do not tend to be so generous about issuing CDLs. Currently, CDLs are available only for U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents (those with a green card). One exception to this general rule is that you may be able to get a non-domiciled CDL, which is a CDL for individuals who are legally authorized to work in the U.S. Eligible individuals must have a valid employment authorization document (EAD), also known as a Form I-766 or work permit. Additionally, if you don’t have an EAD, but your visa authorizes you to legally work in the U.S., you may be able to get a CDL in some states. Other states, however, require that you have an EAD to get a CDL. Keep in mind, however, is that if you only are eligible for a non-domiciled CDL, you are not able to transport hazardous materials. Only regular CDL holders can legally transport hazardous materials. Since U.S. law does recognize the validity of CDLs issued under the Canadian National Safety Code and Licencia Federal de Conductor issued by the federal government of Mexico, Canadian and Mexican natives cannot get U.S. CDLs. This is because federal law prohibits all states from issuing CDLs to non-domiciled individuals if the U.S. already recognizes CDLs from their home countries. As a practical matter, then, this law only affects natives of Mexico and Canada. Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. is an Oakland immigration law firm who has dedicated its practice to protecting the interests of immigrants who are facing deportation. Whether you are potentially deportable due to a visa overstay or a lack of valid immigration status, we can help. We are prepared to build the strongest case possible in order to defend you against deportation. Contact us today to set up your legal consultation and discover what assistance we can offer to you and your family.
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