State driver's licenses have been restricted in the past decade.
In the late 1990s, a group of officials in Gov. Jim Hunt's administration worked with Latino leaders to address the problem of illegal immigrants driving on state roads.
Their solution was to expand the ways that the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles could determine residency, including accepting utility bills and lease agreements. The goal was to get immigrants to drive legally and get car insurance.
After the 9/11 attacks, concerns about security led lawmakers to turn instead to the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, which is issued to anyone working in the U.S. regardless of immigration status.
Though that added a new hoop for some illegal immigrants to get a license, it did not make it impossible. Over the following three years, the DMV issued about 179,000 licenses to people who only had taxpayer ID numbers.
In 2004, the DMV went a step further. Facing concerns about fraud and identity theft, it stopped accepting the matricula consular, a form of identification issued by the Mexican government, among other foreign documents.
And in 2006, legislators ordered the agency to stop accepting taxpayer ID numbers, making it impossible for illegal immigrants to get a state driver's license. However, they stopped short of ordering a recall of older licenses issued with the numbers.
When those licenses expire, drivers will not be able to renew them.