WHAT DOCUMENTS DO IMMIGRANTS NEED TO BRING TO THE BMV TO APPLY FOR A MAINE IDENTIFICATION CARD OR DRIVER’S LICENSE?
Maine state law requires all applicants for a standard Maine identification card (ID) or a driver’s license (DL) to provide ALL of the following:
- proof of their IDENTITY
- proof that they LIVE IN Maine
- proof of their LEGAL PRESENCE in the U.S.
- their SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER, if they are eligible for one.
(The information below is about a standard Maine credential, not a REAL ID credential. To learn more about REAL IDs, go here. https://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/licenses/realid.html )
Please note: ALL DOCUMENTS LISTED BELOW MUST BE UNEXPIRED OR HAVE NO EXPIRATION DATE
TO PROVE YOUR IDENTITY
- You will need to show two documents.
- For adults, at least one document must have your signature on it.
- At least one document must have a photo. (There are exceptions for children whose parents can swear to their identity.)
- You can find a list of acceptable identity documents here: https://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/licenses/identity.html
- Generally, your documents proving you are legally present in the U.S. will also prove your identity. See the next page for more information.
TO PROVE YOU LIVE IN MAINE
- Bring any documents that show your name and the physical address where you live. A post office box address is not enough. Documents can include your paycheck, tax documents, bills, a lease, rent receipts, children’s school records. You can find more suggestions on this list. https://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/licenses/residency.html
- If you don’t have a fixed address (you are living in a shelter or in a hotel or other temporary situation until you can find longer term housing), or you live with others and have no bills etc. in your name at your address, you will need two affidavits from people in Maine confirming that you live here, using the form available here. https://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/forms/residencyaffidavit%20(MVL-17)%20.pdf
PROVING YOUR LEGAL PRESENCE IN THE U.S.
If you are a Nonimmigrant visa holder, bring as many of these as you have:
- Your unexpired passport
- Your I-94 card or a print-out of your I-94 from the CBP website: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home
- If you are on an F, J, or M visa, your I-20 form or DS-2019 form
- Any USCIS documents showing a timely filed pending or approved application for an extension of stay, change of, or adjustment of status. (Forms I-129, I-539, I-485)
If you are a Refugee or Asylee (asylum has been granted), bring as many of these as you have:
- I-94 card showing refugee or asylee status
- USCIS Employment Authorization (work permit) card based on your refugee or asylee status
- Letter from USCIS showing asylum granted, or USCIS form I-730 approved
- Order or decision from an immigration court or other federal court showing asylum granted
If you are now a U.S. citizen, bring either:
- Your U.S. passport or U.S. passport card, OR
- Your Certificate of Naturalization
If you are a Permanent resident – “green card” holder (2 year card,10 year card, or card with no expiration date), bring as many of these as you may have:
- Your “green card” – Permanent Resident Card, Resident Alien Card, or Alien Registration Card
- An unexpired Temporary I-551 stamp in your unexpired foreign passport or on an I-94 card
- If your “green card” has expired, also bring any USCIS notice showing you filed USCIS Form I-90 or I-751 and the automatic green card extension period has not expired, or a new unexpired Temporary I-551 stamp
- A letter or notice from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or an order from an immigration court or federal court granting adjustment of status or cancellation of removal
If you are in any other immigration category: Bring to the BMV any immigration notices, receipts, or any other evidence of any applications or petitions you have filed that are still waiting for a decision, work permits, or any other immigration documents that you may have. These might include:
- I-94 card or document showing “parole” status
- USCIS Employment Authorization (work permit) card, and if card has expired,
- USCIS I-797 receipt for filing I-765 application to renew your work permit
- I-797 Notice of Action form showing:
- that USCIS has received a petition or application from you (if it is still in process with USCIS), for example, to apply to:
- Adjust status to permanent resident (form I-485)
- Ask for asylum (form I-589)
- Ask for special status for humanitarian/protection reasons
- an appointment (already past, or in the future) with USCIS for biometrics (fingerprinting etc.), or for an interview
- Court papers or Federal Register notices related to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or any other document related to TPS, plus if you have had one, your most recent Employment Authorization (work permit) card, even if it has expired
- Notice to Appear, Order of Release on Recognizance, Order of Supervision, immigration court hearing notice, print-out of hearing date, or any other document or evidence showing that you are or have been in immigration court removal proceedings.
- Order from an immigration court or federal court granting any type of relief from removal/deportation
PROVIDING YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER
If you have a Social Security Number:
If you have memorized your Social Security number, you don’t need to bring anything. But, if you have your signed Social Security Card, you may want to bring it to use as an identity
WHAT WILL AN “ID” or DRIVER’S LICENSE COST?
- The fee for a state ID is $5.00.
- The application fee to begin the process of obtaining a driver’s license is $35.00.
- The license fee to order the plastic license after the application process is complete is $30.00.
- The BMV accepts cash, check, money order, and credit/debit card.
If you do not have a Social Security Number:
- If you aren’t eligible for a Social Security number in your specific immigration status, you can get a Maine ID or driver’s license without having a Social Security number. In some cases, BMV may ask you to get a letter from Social Security confirming your ineligibility for a Social Security number.
If you have a visa or immigration status that automatically entitles you to work (even without getting a work permit), or you have a USCIS work permit, then you must have already received a Social Security number before you apply for a Maine ID or driver’s license.
IF YOU HAVE EVER HAD A LICENSE FROM ANOTHER STATE OR COUNTRY
- If you have a driver’s license from another country, or from a U.S. territory, even if it is unexpired, you will have to take and pass the written driver’s license exam and then a road test before getting a Maine driver’s license. The driver’s license written exam application form is available here. https://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/forms/MVE%20-%2064.pdf An applicant who is eligible for a Social Security number will need to have received that number before scheduling the written exam.
- If you have a driver’s license from another U.S. state that is unexpired or expired less than five years ago, you will not have to take the written exam or the road test before getting your Maine driver’s license.
- If your driver’s license from another U.S. state expired more than five years ago, you will have to take the written exam and the road test before getting your Maine driver’s license.