BOSTON (CBS) – President Barack Obama’s uncle has been granted a hardship driver’s license, just a week after he lost his license for 45 days in a drunken driving case.

The license allows 67-year-old Onyango Obama to drive from noon to midnight so he can get to work at a liquor store in Framingham, where he is a manager.

Registry spokeswoman Sara Lavoie told WBZ-TV the license was granted Monday after a hearing at the Wilmington branch.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports

“In general, hearing officers weigh a driver’s record, specific offense and the hardship asserted by that driver. In this instance, the driver also provided the necessary documentation to receive a hardship license– proof of enrollment in an alcohol treatment program and a letter from his employer,” Lavoie said in a statement.

Read: Obama Letter (.pdf)

Obama is the half-brother of the president’s late father. He was arrested in Framingham in August 2011 after a police officer claimed Obama made a rolling stop at a stop sign and nearly caused his cruiser to crash into Obama’s SUV.

He then registered 0.14 on a blood-alcohol test, according to police. The legal limit in Massachusetts is 0.08.

Obama pleaded to sufficient facts in the case last week. By agreeing to the continuance without a finding, Obama avoids pleading guilty to drunk driving and the charge will be dismissed, if he stays out of trouble for one year.

Obama’s arrest last year also caught the attention of immigration investigators who claim he violated a 1992 order to return to Kenya.

His case is still before the immigration court. A person familiar with the case says Onyango Obama is required to appear at the Immigrations and Customs Office next week to discuss arrangement’s for his removal from the United States.

“Now that Mr. Onyango’s criminal case has completed, ICE has communicated, in accordance with standard procedure, with the attorney of record regarding his removal pursuant to a previous final order by an immigration judge,” Brian P. Hale, Director of Public Affairs for ICE said in a statement.

Some drivers are outraged. One man said, “I think it’s disgraceful. If they’re illegal they’re illegal. They shouldn’t have the same rights as people who are here legally.”

Another told us, “I really do not appreciate the fact he got a license, he is supposedly an illegal alien, and he shouldn’t be driving in the first place.”

We brought these questions to the head of the RMV, Rachel Kaprielian, who tells says her focus is on licenses.

“Matters of immigration are law enforcement matters and matters that pertain to federal laws,” says Kaprielian. “In this case this applicant met the rules and regulations of the Registry of Motor Vehicles in his application for a hardship license.” She says his case also met the RMV rules years ago when he applied for his license.

Some believe Onyango Obama, who had a clean record until his August drunk driving arrest, should be given another chance to stay. One driver says, “This is America and we’ve got to give everyone a chance and just because they are illegally in this country, this country was founded on rights for everyone.”

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson contributed to this report.

Comments (73)
  1. fred says:

    I know people who have requested a hardship license but unless you are connected you don’t get the hearing and the results that quickly. Was this license fraudulently obtained by using a social security number that was not issued to him? I thought this state does not issue licenses to illegal aliens? Why was this hearing held in Wilmington – so there would be less publicity? As a local talk show host has remarked many times when this sort of stuff happens ” I don’t want any special treatment – I just want to be treated like an illegal alien”. Come on Martha, you should investigate this – but of course there would be no political gain, only from among those who would not vote for her anyway.

    1. gramps says:

      I guess this also means that he ‘can’t’ be deported between the hours of 12 & 11:59 am….


      1. dan says:

        i wonder what his IQ LEVEL IS.

    2. redneckjoe says:

      let me see clearly here, he is pulled over for being drunk while driving, and he is the manager of a LIQUOR STORE???? so he gets to keep his license to drive back to get another bottle!! that’s it!!! STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES!!! MUST RUN IN THE FAMILY !! ONLY IN MASS !!!


  2. Onyango Obama says:

    Fred why don’t you settle down and have a drink with me. I promise not to run over any of your citizens.

    I almost forgot, could you pay my taxes for me too? Thank you

  3. Deval P. says:

    Barack owes me one for this. It wasn’t easy getting the Framingham cops and the RMV to back off quietly.

    Lets hope that Oyango can stay out of trouble and not smash some poor kids intestines and brains out all over the sidewalk by driving over him….

  4. Willow says:

    i don’t know why this surprises anyone, and if it makes the news, it isn’t a big secret either.

    My brother was stopped while driving under the influence, first offense, and lost his license for 90 days, had to go to the program, and also worked out of state. Was he able to obtain a hardship license to get to work? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A friend drove him to work for the entire time. Too bad he is a citizen,

  5. Mike says:

    America: Home to persecuted citizens, and free illegals. Can’t wait till he runs over someone.

    1. dan says:


    2. Nan says:

      I wish he’d run over his nephew.

      1. Tony says:

        You and me both Nan! Good one!

  6. dan says:


  7. NikW says:

    Just goes to show you how silly this state and country is. You keep voting in Obama and Patrick. What do you expect.

    1. navillus1 says:

      I’ve heard they’re good friends.

  8. ginny2 says:

    It’s getting to the point where the only thing illegal in this county will be to be a legal citizen.

  9. So Tired Of Liberals says:

    Where is the outrage over this???? The entire country is coming out to protest the Florida shootting, yet no one is protesting this? Seriously? Where are all the screams of outrage, the pressure on the politicans?

    1. Stanley11 says:

      That answer is easy….the people that would protest and are outraged about it are busy working.

      1. moterhed says:


    2. navillus1 says:

      So many of these types of things are flying under the radar….this Country should be outraged. This is a huge mismanagement of authority.

  10. d peabody says:

    This is what America asked for when they voted obama president come november we are so stupid we will give him 4 more years.At the end of comrade obamas term in office our country will be a third world country,sad look what we are leaving our children.

  11. James says:

    I would be willing to bet the Farm that the only reason he given a Hardship License for the purpose work is that he is President Obama’s Uncle, anyone else and they would have denied the request. Is it me or does anyone else see the irony here; he manages a Liquor Store and he was arrested for drunk driving…..Hmmmmm! :)

  12. macmum says:

    Nepotism at it’s best. And anyone that thinks otherwise is an idiot. At least now, Autie has someone to drive her around Boston….

    1. Scooby says:

      OH, but if he gets driving anywhere but to & from work he can get in trouble… maybe even deported. WHAT A JOKE!!! (please note the sarcasm)

  13. Jane Howell says:

    What an example of favoritism, and blatant favoritism that is… As we all know, if it were us, we would be doing everything thrown at us by the courts…. for well over a year, and with our pockets a lot lighter…. Obama did not get my vote the last time, and will not get it this time… Shame on him and Deval Patrick….Maybe we should bring them up on charges for favoritism….Now that’s a thought.

  14. response says:

    you can’t make this stuff up….give the guy a hardship license to drive to a LIQUOR store when he lost it for drunk driving….REALLY?
    THe officials in this state disgust me.

  15. macmum says:

    PS, I have a friend that lost her license for 90 days on a first offense, had to go to special classes, court ordered for 52 weeks, and no one cared how she got to workk… whatever way she could, since she doesn’t live in an area where there are buses or ttrains easily accessible. But this guy gets 45 days and his license back after blowing a .14? really? He was basically hammered and was stupid enough to drive anyway….who does he or the registry think they are kidding here? Oh and James, I agree, he should NOT be allowed to work in a liquor store…imagine the havoc he could cause if he has a “bad day” at work! This is so ridiculous!

  16. jaygee says:

    Okay, I know that he has been here for a very long time and has never been in much, if any, trouble before this incident but there is one question many of us have. How can he be given a “hardship license” when he is not a legal resident of this country? Everyone says that something has to be done about the 12 million illegal immigrants in this country but nobody does anything about it. I’m sick of the psychological blackmail and all of the those “pseudo-liberal minds” that that don’t want to address this very serious & very expensive situation.

  17. mwils says:

    How can he have a job when he is in the country illegally? Why isn’t his employer fined for hiring an illegal? Whose tax id is he using? Why is his not having a license a hardship when many others in similar circumstances have to cope with it? Inquiring minds want to know.

    1. Are you kidding me? says:

      Amen — wonder why this wasn’t mentioned at the outset? Why isn’t the employer being fined for hiring an illegal alien instead of hiring a tax-paying American so his nephew can take another vacation to Hawaii on the taxpayer’s dime?

  18. Onyango Obama says:

    All these comments are making me upset. I am going to have some scotch and drive around to compose myself.

    1. PegBundy says:

      Not sure why, but reading this made me chuckle.

      1. Onyango Obama says:

        I am available for parties….obviously

    2. navillus1 says:

      Maybe the President can lend out Airforce 1 for your joyride.

  19. dbus85 says:

    We left framingham because we were tired of paying and schooling the Illegals.
    Now to hear this.. Why do we even bother paying taxes, excise tax, property taxes.. Dog licenses, permits etc… what is the point… This country is going downhill faster and faster.. its a disgrace We are aproaching Second Rate status…. I feel sorry for the children…. God knows what this place will be like in 15 years!!!!!!

    1. moterhed says:

      Like Framingham in the mid seventies… i see the railroad station Horton restored is starting becoming an outhouse again.. but without Dennison and GM plants to help keep things going

  20. Cis says:

    “Obama avoids pleading guilty to drunk driving and the charge will be dismissed, if he stays out of trouble for one year” There’s no doubt in my mind this deal was orchestrated by the WH. By being an illegal alien he can’t stay out of trouble for one yr – it’s a pre-existing condition. The WH is process creating unlawful presence waivers for illegals, under which illegals with legal relatives in US are essentially given amnesty. How very convenient for Obama’s illegal alien relatives. Yeah let’s re-elect Obama so he can throw citizens, constitution and laws down the sewer for another 4yrs. Disgusted!

  21. Tsal-kv says:

    You are all jumping to conclusions just like you did with the Trayvon case. Maybe there is a good reason that the judge let him drive to work? When will people learn that racism comes in many forms?!?!?!

    1. Scooby says:

      I HOPE that was sarcasm!!!

    2. Enough says:

      Are you for real? Illegals have it so much easier than law-abidiing, tax-paying Citizens in this State and it just gets worse. I know someone who lost his license for the same offense, was never convicted on it, and was DENIED a hardship license he applied for twice – and he is a LEGAL CITZEN. There is just no good argument as for why this man is still even in this country, nevermind driving!

      1. Yaknow says:

        Thank you Enough very well put.

    3. navillus1 says:

      You forgot to take your “real” pill today.

      1. dan says:

        let me guess your black

    4. dan says:


    5. firemanmark says:

      If you are not being sarcastic then you are in need of a reality check.It has nothing to do with has to do with the fact that he is ILLEGALLY in this country.Here’s an idea: all the Liberals that want all that “free” stuff can pay extra taxes for it so they can have that ‘warm and fuzzy feeling’ they get when they know someone who breaks into our country is screwing all the legal citizens and legal immigrants!

  22. questions i have? says:

    last time i checked there is no hardship lic. given to a driver for anything less then a one year renovation of Lic.

    1. dan says:


  23. navillus1 says:

    Omar won a “Great Citizens Award” and his prize was a Hardship Drivers License. We can only hope it also came with free Mapquest directions (printed in color) to his original homeland. Don’t worry, there is an award for all of us law-abiding “legals” in this Country….it’s the “Booby Prize”.

  24. John A says:

    Ole’ Uncle Onyango, the Artful Dodger ; There is thems that gets and thems that don’t. Good citizens of the Commonwealth, all you are getting is crapped on over and over again by the folks you put in government. Gee, I think I can smell some coffee. Can you ?

  25. 1stackmack says:

    hardship licence,anouth perk to be an illegal alien in this country.

    1. dan says:

      why can’t we get perks like that????

  26. sean says:

    pretty sure we all know he isn’t going anywhere

  27. emom says:

    WOW he still manages to get what he wants ,,,, You know the irony of this… The true OPRESSED people are the Law abiding citizen, The ones punished which gets no special treatments, Those that Can not Get public assistance’s, Struggles with whats given to them. Are not allowed free anything, these are the true OPRESSED people…
    Uncle & auntie Obama are the ones stealing everything we work so hard for and should have the opportunity to have because its The true law abiding people that pay taxes into a system , But which have no rights to use. ;These people are robbing us blind in every way possible

  28. Deb says:

    Lets compare…..
    An illegal citizen gets caught drunk driving (.14) -loses his license for 45 days only. Illegals are allowed licenses? Anyone know what was Obama’s uncles fines? Hardship: Job (shouldn’t that employer be fined?????)
    I personally know of a 21 year US born citizen caught within 15 seconds of arriving home, drunk driving (.09) – lost his license for 6 months, incurred Court fees $900, return of license $1.000, Lawyer fee $3,500. Used a commuter bus to get to work (6)months. In the meantime his car is officially dead.

    Why does it seem that illegal immigrants that get in trouble, are not immediately deported. Employers fined.

  29. Marty Griffin says:

    Baylor 40-0 Maybe the Pats can draft Brittney Griener

  30. Patrick S. says:

    Bailer a 40 ounce.He’s fine.He’s the Presidents relative.
    Funny how it all Bails out.
    And works at a liquor store store too!
    WOOWEE!What’s Up whith That!

  31. Stop The Insanity says:

    As for the comments about people being “racist,” you are darn right I’m racist against anyone who is in this country ILLEGALLY (i.e. breaking the law for all you Liberal fools) and taking from taxpayer’s money that they do not deserve, getting licenses and benefits that hard-working, struggling, tax-paying legal CITIZENS are denied everyday! If that makes me racist than so be it! I don’t care what skin color he is, he should NOT be in this country another minute, much less being handed a gosh-darn license!!!! This is a complete outrage and anyone who defends it is an idiot!

    1. petem says:

      All we are saying is give him the benefit of the doubt. He is the presidents half uncle and deserves a shred of respect. I’ll bet half the people here have driven under the influence just like Onyango.

      1. response says:

        I don’t have a shred of respect for people who put my life in danger because they are intoxicated behind the wheel of an automobile.

      2. Enough says:

        And did they get hardship licesnses? None that I know did! Give him the benefit of the doubt? He’s been here ILLEGALLY for years after he was told to leave…. he is WELL aware that he is here ILLEGALLY…. enough said

      3. Stanley11 says:

        Where is the doubt that you are giving him the benefit of?

        1) He is here Illegaly
        2) He was prosecuted for Drunk Driving
        3) He received a benefit from the Commonwealth that citizens don’t even get

        What’s in doubt?

      4. blackbear1 says:

        petem, what is wrong with you? All you ” do gooders” do is lecture people who have legitimate concerns. We are all sick of this! Can’t you see the direction this country is going in? Don’t you love your country enough to protect its borders? You sound like one of the above posters who just sits on old, overused, sweet sounding slogans. Come on man, staighten up!!!

  32. Stephen Stein says:

    He has been in the country since the sixties. You cannot deport someone who has been here for so long. He is an american now just like the rest of us!

    1. April says:

      Obviously his emloyer broke the law, what about that? How did he get a valid license unless he used a fake or stolen ID. No, he is not an american just like the rest of us, far from it. Just because you say it enough doesn’t make it true.

    2. firemanmark says:

      If you are using sarcasm: good one. If you are serious:you must be a card-carrying member of the Atheist Communist Liberal Union.Only a Socialist-Liberal Marxist would make a statement that stupid!

    3. Enough says:

      Fine, then YOU can pay all his legal fees for the dui and for the immigration hearings, rather than me the taxpayer and legal citizen! Oh yes great idea, all the ones who are here ILLEGALLY and know FULL WELL they are here ILLEGALLY, let’s just let them be ciitzens because it’s a nice thing to do….. not!

    4. blackbear1 says:

      Absolutely not!! You are soooo wrong Stephen Stein!

    5. Deb says:

      Our country should be deporting any illegal who breaks our laws.

  33. MoonBeamWatcher says:

    Guess one doesn’t have to have common sense to be in ‘law enfarcement!’
    Guys to be DEPORTED and “We the people” issue this criminal, thief and drunk driver a Hardship drivers license!? Shoulda had few anchor babies!
    “Ready, Shoot, Aim” as his nephew would say, time and time again! And his Aunti is still taking housing away from a US Citizen!

  34. dms says:

    What does he need to drive for? To get to the airport and catch his 1-way flight to Kenya? I’ll drive him.

  35. web says:

    smart move mass…spend $ on his legal defense for dui, THEN work on deportation…real smart. I asked before, but found the answer on the RMV website, you do not need to be legal to have a license in MA. No SSN needed, just 3 different forms of ID (which could include an employment contract).

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