RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Governor Bob McDonnell takes an aggressive step to restrict who can and can't get a drivers licence in Virginia. The move is in response to the horrific accident that killed one Catholic nun with ties to Richmond and put two others in the hospital.
It is called the employment authorization document or I-766, is a federally issued permit that allows someone from a foreign country to legally work in the U.S.
It is one of many forms of identification that Virginia would accept as a condition for obtaining a drivers licence or ID card. Governor McDonnell said he is concerned that card is not reliable enough to determine if someone is in Virginia legally.
His concern is rooted in the case of Carlos Montano. The 23-year-old Bolivian legally obtained a Virginia ID, using the I-766 card. Montano is accused of driving drunk, causing an accident that killed Sister Denise Moiser.
Montano, was set to be deported, but pending his removal from the country he still qualified for the I-766, and as a result had no trouble obtaining the ID card.
In a statement McDonnell said that is the problem: "Virginia law is clear in the requirement that an individual be lawfully in the United States to be eligible for an identification card or to have the privilege to drive," he wrote.
McDonnell said the federal employment authorization document doesn't meet that standard.
Montano only had the ID card, not an actual drivers license when he was behind that wheel that day.
This move by McDonnell is only temporary, pending an opinion by the Attorney General, which could lead to permanent action by the General Assembly.