Can DACA recipients travel within the U.S.?

San Antonio, TX—In order for a person to travel within the U.S., they are required to present identification at the airport checkpoint. A driver’s licenses and state identification cards (ID) are two of several forms of identification an individual can present to airport security personnel in order to travel.

Because all states, including Texas, now allow DACA recipients to obtain a driver’s license, they can use this as a form of ID to travel within the U.S.1 While a driver’s license or state ID can be used to travel within the U.S., DACA recipients should be aware that beginning May 3, 2023, all individuals age 18 and older who wish to use their driver’s license to travel must have a REAL ID.


What is a REAL ID?


Beginning on May 3, 2023, a person’s driver’s license must be REAL ID compliant if they want to use it as their form of ID to travel in the U.S. A REAL ID is one that has a star in the right-hand corner of the license. Individuals who have not yet gotten a REAL ID can find out about obtaining one by contacting their state’s driver’s licensing agency.

In order to obtain a REAL ID, most agencies require that an individual provide documentation showing the following information2:

  • Their full legal name
  • Their date of birth
  • Their social security number (SSN). DACA recipients are eligible to receive a SSN.
  • Two proofs of address
  • Lawful status


While most licensing agencies require documentation that shows the information listed above, some may also have additional requirements that must be met.


What does a DACA recipient need to travel outside of the U.S.?


DACA recipients who wish to travel outside of the U.S. will need to obtain an Advance Parole document before leaving. DACA recipients can use Form I-131, Application for Travel Document that once approved, will provide them with a re-entry permit. Form I-131 does carry a $575 filing fee and therefore, individuals looking to apply for Advance Parole should seek help from a San Antonio, TX immigration lawyer.


How does a DACA recipient know when it is safe for them to travel?


Many DACA recipients refrain from traveling within the U.S. and even outside of it as they worry there could be repercussions for doing so. But, if a DACA recipient is looking to travel for work, or for personal or medical reasons, they should first consult with a San Antonio, TX immigration attorney.

Attorney J. Joseph Cohen can help an individual understand the risks associated with traveling as well as help them obtain the documentation needed for them to safely do it. The Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen can be reached at 210-503-2800.


The Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen can be reached at:


310 South St. Mary’s Street, Suite 2100

San Antonio, Texas 78205

Phone: 210-503-2800

Website: www.jjosephcohen.com



  1. https://www.ncsl.org/research/immigration/deferred-action.aspx
  2. https://www.dhs.gov/real-id/real-id-faqs
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