If you are in the process of becoming a United States citizen or applying for naturalization, you may be worried about whether or not a driving violation can affect your naturalization process. The truth is that a traffic ticket or traffic violation can affect this process.

Some violations can even cause a denial of your citizenship application. In this article we will discuss the different violations that can affect this process and how you can deal with those violations. In short, it is crucial to hire an attorney for your traffic case, if you are in the process of becoming a citizen or planning to apply for naturalization.

Application for Naturalization

One question you may have is in regard to reporting your ticket or violation on your Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.

Resident Aliens, Permanent Residents, and Conditional Residents MUST declare their violation on the Form N-400. No matter the type of violation, minor or serious, you MUST declare it.

Section D of the application is dedicated to “Good Moral Character.” Specifically, question 23 of the sections asks, “Have you ever been arrested, cited, or detained by a law enforcement officer (including any and all immigration officials or the U.S. armed forces) for any reason?” You must answer yes to this question if you have ever received a ticket or a moving violation of any kind.

Minor Moving Violations

Some examples of minor moving violations include:

  • Driving too fast for conditions
  • Improper lane usage
  • Petty speeding (1-25 mph over the speed limit)
  • Failure to Yield to an emergency vehicle
  • No turn on red

Failing to report violations will make you appear as a dishonest candidate. If you received a ticket for a minor violation, then you should retain an attorney to guide you through the process. There can be many steps and it is important to close out all cases and pay fines before you begin your application process.

Something to note, the points you receive on your driving record for minor violations will not disqualify you as a candidate. However, minor violations will appear when United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is conducting a background check but these types of violations are not serious enough for USCIS to worry about. Minor violations or tickets will not affect your eligibility.

In addition, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA does not care about minor violations either.

However, misdemeanor traffic violations can result in denial of your citizenship application or disqualify you from participating in the DACA program. Make sure you retain a traffic lawyer to help you with any serious traffic violations!

Misdemeanor & Other Serious Traffic Violations

Some examples of serious moving violations include:

  • Aggravated Speeding (Class A and B)
  • Reckless driving
  • Fleeing and eluding
  • Driving while intoxicated (DUI)

If you have any of the above violations, then it is likely that your application will be denied. If you lie about having anything in your background, then it will also result in a denial.

In some cases, these serious violations can be reduced or dismissed with the help of a skilled attorney. This all depends on your exact situation and violation. If you or a loved one find yourself with a traffic violation while involved in the citizenship or naturalization process, contact our team today. Our attorneys can help!