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Ohio Is Sued Over Way It Handles Drivers Licenses for Refugees & Children Of Undocumented Ohioans

Ohio Department of Highway Safety

Two lawsuits have been filed against the state over the way it issues drivers’ licenses to legal refugees or children of undocumented Ohioans. 

Emily Brown of Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, the group filing the lawsuit against the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, says state law bans undocumented immigrants from serving as co-signers for 16 and 17-year-old drivers. She says that’s a problem for children who are born here or are in the DACA program but have undocumented parents.

“If a person’s parent or guardian can’t be the co-signer due to their lack of immigration status then another adult should be able to do it," Brown says.

Brown says some 3,000 Ohio teenagers can’t get their licenses because of this policy. Brown says her group is also suing the state over the license procedures for legal refugees. In both cases, Brown says the group is seeking a remedy similar to the ones being used in other states. But if the state doesn’t comply, Brown says the cases will likely go to court sometime next year. 

Contact Jo Ingles at
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