Verification of Lawful Status (VLS)

State motor vehicle agencies (MVAs) need to address two immigration-document authenticity problems:

  • The presentation of fake and altered immigration documents to MVAs as proof of identity and proof of lawful status in the U.S. 
  • MVAs can issue REAL ID-compliant driver licenses and identification (ID) cards only after they have verified the lawful status of the applicant. 

Immigration documents are verified by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program. SAVE allows the MVA to verify that the presented documents match the electronic record of the documents held by the DHS and with a means to comply with REAL ID regulations. MVAs can interface with SAVE using:

  • A DHS interface to SAVE
  • Verification of Lawful Status (VLS), which allows the transactions to be integrated with other transactions passed through AAMVA
  • A combination of VLS and SAVE, such as using VLS for Initial Verification transactions and using DHS for additional Secondary and Tertiary Verifications

VLS allows jurisdictions to integrate the verifications into their MVA driver licensing and ID card issuing systems using the legacy AAMVA Message Interchange Envelope (AMIE) message protocol or a web service. Both options process VLS requests and responses in real time. 

For the on-boarding package, documentation, or more information, please contact us below.


Jurisdictions who participate in VLS are identified on the IT systems participation map. A map of how lawful presence is verified can be viewed here (available to jurisdiction and federal members only). Details of the interface methods are shown here (available to jurisdiction and federal members only).

Scheduled Maintenance

For when scheduled maintenance on VLS will occur, please visit here.


All rates are effective through September 30 and are subject to change thereafter with 30-days prior written notice.


VLS documentation is available below to jurisdiction and federal members only.

file - 05/05/2020

VLS AMIE Specification 3.2

Provides the AMIE specification for VLS. 

file - 05/05/2020

VLS Web Service Specification 3.2

Provides the web service specification for VLS. 

file - 05/05/2020

VLS Jurisdiction Procedures Guide 3.2

Provides the jurisdiction procedures guide for VLS. 

file - 02/22/2019

VLS Implementation Guide 3.2

Provides the implementation guide for VLS. 

For questions or more information about VLS, please contact us and select Technology Systems from the drop-down menu of subjects.

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