Jackie Sanchez, 18, was illegally brought by her mother from Mexico to the United States when she was three and has always considered North Carolina her home.
“I started school here,” she said. “I know everything about North Carolina and the United States.”
Sanchez can work and study legally in the United States due to a recent federal policy — but her driver’s license will be colored pink.
Sanchez, a student at Durham Technical Community College, qualifies for privileges under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.
Enacted by President Barack Obama’s administration last year, the policy offers temporary work or school permits to immigrants brought to the country before the age of 16.
Some states also granted immigrants the ability to drive legally for the first time.
North Carolina joined 33 other states when the N.C. Attorney General’s office required the Division of Motor Vehicles to issue licenses under the policy starting March 25.
But their design has been a point of contention for state legislators and immigrant groups.
The licenses will feature a pink header and the words “NO LAWFUL STATUS” across the front.