Media Center

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen Issues Formal Opinion Concerning Issuance of Drivers Licenses to Foreign Nationals with Deferred Action Status


MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued a formal opinion today to Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb concerning the issuance of operator licenses to applicants with deferred action status under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program (“DACA”). Van Hollen concluded that section 343.14(2)(er) of the Wisconsin Statutes, which allows proof of “deferred action status” to serve as proof of legal presence in the United States for purposes of license issuance, requires the Department of Transportation to issue a license to applicants demonstrating approved deferred action status under DACA.


Deferred action status under DACA expires two years from the date it was granted. Because an operator's license expires on the date when the individual's legal presence is no longer authorized, Van Hollen also opined that the Department of Transportation must issue an operator's license that expires two years from the date when the deferred action notice was issued.


Formal and informal opinions issued by Attorney General Van Hollen are available at:



A copy of the Attorney General's opinion, and opinion request are available at the following links: