Florida legislation continues to cause confusion for same-sex couples regarding their rights to fair treatment following the repeal of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Recently, it has become apparent that the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will not issue a driver's license to legal immigrants based upon same-sex marriages. —
According to the DMV, many of the traditionally accepted documents that would allow an immigrant to obtain a Florida driver's license cannot be accepted if they are based on a same-sex marriage. This is because the Florida constitution still does not recognize same-sex marriages.
When applying for a Florida driver's license, immigrants must provide appropriate documentation, such as a receipt showing they have applied to register permanent residence or adjust status (I-485 form). This form must be accompanied by a petition for alien relative (I-130 form), but if the petition is filed by a same-sex spouse, the driver's license application will be denied.
Further, if a temporary license already was issued, but the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS) immigration status check program (SAVE) indicated the immigrant is seeking residency through a same-sex marriage, the DMV will cancel the license. Immigrants with F, L, and E visas also have run into difficulty obtaining a license without a work permit if their visa status was dependent on a same-sex marriage.
Fort Lauderdale immigration attorney Lawrence Marin acknowledges this problem as another issue that needs to be corrected in the aftermath of the DOMA repeal. "This is another obstacle to same-sex couples who have started the immigration process and are simply trying to legalize their status in the United States. Nevertheless, our firm is fully committed to assisting all of its marriage-based petitions, regardless of their orientation, and fighting the DMV’s blatantly discriminatory policy."
Currently, an immigrant in a heterosexual marriage may obtain a Florida driver's license based upon receipts for applications to adjust status and certain visas. This simple process is not extended to immigrants in same-sex marriages, who must provide an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or obtain a green card to be approved for a Florida driver's license. While the DOMA repeal has extended several benefits to same-sex spouses, couples continue to suffer unfair discrimination in states such as Florida that do not recognize their marriage as a valid union.
Lead immigration attorney Lawrence Marin has made it his priority to ensure all families, regardless of sexual orientation, receive fair treatment and protect their legal rights during the immigration and residency processes.
Those having difficulty obtaining licenses, entering educational programs or completing any immigration processes due to their same-sex marriage status are urged to contact an immigration attorney as soon as possible. Izquierdo & Marin, P.A. constantly monitors the challenges same-sex couples continue to face even after the repeal of DOMA and continues to seek the latest resolutions to these issues.
Name: Lawrence Marin
Email: Send Email
Organization: Izquierdo & Marin, P.A. Law Firm
Address: 100 Southeast 6th Street Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Phone: (954) 527-9995
Release ID: 23887