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Licenses issued for younger undocumented drivers

Lines were reported outside at least two Charlotte-area Department of Motor Vehicle offices Monday morning, with North Carolina set to begin issuing driver licenses today to younger undocumented immigrants.

About a half-dozen people were in line at 6 a.m. outside the DMV office on Brookshire Boulevard in northwest Charlotte, and a similar number was reported standing about 6:30 a.m. outside the office off Albemarle Road in east Charlotte.

The offices are scheduled to open at 8 a.m.

North Carolina is issuing licenses to people included in the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. That is for people 31 and younger who are children of those who came to the country without legal documentation.

Under federal guidelines, those people are eligible for work permits -- and driver licenses.

That program is scheduled to last for two years.

The issuing of licenses in North Carolina became controversial earlier this year, when state transportation officials said they would add a pink-colored stripe on the license. That aroused criticism from Latino organizations and civil liberties supporters, who said the pink stripe was a form of racial profiling.

State officials announced last week that they would not use the stripe, citing problems with the equipment used to print the licenses. But the permits for drivers on the DACA program will contain the wording, “legal presence, no lawful status.”

Those applying for licenses under this program must bring proof of:

-- Age

-- Residency

-- Number of years they’ve been living in the United States

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