RALEIGH -

The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles will begin issuing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants who qualify for federal work papers, starting March 25.
    
Thursday's announcement by DMV Commissioner Tony Tata comes less than a month after the North Carolina attorney general's office said the agency was legally required to issue licenses to those qualified under the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
    
Federal authorities began accepting applications in August from immigrants brought to the United States without authorization as minors, granting those who qualify for work papers with an opportunity for renewal after two years.
    
Immigrant advocacy groups and the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union praised the decision by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory's administration as a victory for rule of law.