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VA DMV tightens process

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  • VA DMV tightens process

    California already does that. And it will go on since the law signed by
    Davis has been repealed.


    "Tarapia Tapioco" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    About flipping time! 49 to go.... Link courtesy of DMV tightens process Applicants for a drivers license will have to prove identity under rules
    inspired by 9/11 attacks.
    By EDIE GROSS Date published: 12/7/2003 It used to be that a drivers license was simply an indication that you
    knew how to drive, or at least had mastered it long enough to pass a skills
    These days, the card--guaranteed to feature your worst portrait since
    seventh-grade picture day--is so much more than just a symbol of driving
    Its proof of identity, that youre the person whose name is on that credit
    card youre flashing or on that plane ticket to Maui.
    Beginning Jan. 1, a Virginia drivers license will also be proof that its
    owner is in this country legally.
    Getting a Virginia license for the first time, or replacing an expired
    license, will require more paperwork and more patience--on the part of both
    the applicant and employees at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
    But supporters of the new requirements, inspired in part by the events of
    Sept. 11, 2001, say theyll prevent illegal immigrants from posing as
    Virginia residents.
    Right now, those seeking a state drivers license have to provide documents
    showing three things: their identity, their Social Security number and their
    Virginia address.
    After Jan. 1, applicants will also have to present paperwork showing they
    are legally allowed to be in America.
    For those born here, that could be a U.S. passport or a birth certificate.
    For those born in another country, proof of citizenship, naturalization or
    some other type of legal entry into the United States will be necessary.
    "The reason is 14 people from my legislative district were assassinated at
    the Pentagon on 9/11. That terrorist act was made a little more easy by the
    Virginia DMV because seven of the terrorists had Virginia licenses," said
    Del. Dave Albo, R-Springfield, who sponsored the so-called "legal presence"
    legislation during this years General Assembly session.
    "They were able to get on a plane with Virginia drivers licenses," Albo
    said. "Were not going to be giving licenses to people who cant prove theyre
    here legally."
    Rules not just for foreign-born Albo and fellow sponsor Sen. Jay OBrien, R-Clifton, are quick to point out
    that the state isnt singling out foreigners. The law applies to everyone,
    from the college student who moves here from Maryland to the
    chemical-engineering professor who comes in from Tokyo.
    Even longtime Virginia residents are affected. If a World War II veteran
    born and raised in Spotsylvania lets his license expire, he cant get a new
    one without proof of legal presence.
    The same goes for anyone trying to reinstate a license that has been
    suspended, revoked or canceled.
    Those without a U.S. passport, original copy of their birth certificate or
    other required paperwork can get help obtaining documents from Virginias
    Office of Vital Records, OBrien said.
    Once youve shown proof that youre in the country legally, you wont have to
    show proof again as long as you dont allow your license to expire.
    The standard drivers license is issued for five years. If someone has
    permission to be in this country for less time than that, their license will
    expire when their federal documentation does, OBrien said.
    The more stringent rules are a necessary part of the war on terror, OBrien
    "I think prior to 9/11 the word in foreign countries was: Go to Virginia.
    Anyone can get a license. Its a cinch," he said. "We, the commonwealth, have
    an obligation to scrutinize the documents we give out."
    Policy could cause delays After the law was passed, DMV put together an 11-person panel of legal and
    transportation experts to come up with ways to implement the new rules.
    Immigration lawyer Mark Rhoads, a member of that panel, said lines may
    move slower at DMV as applicants try to figure out which papers they need
    and DMV employees try to figure out which papers are acceptable.
    The department is accepting about 25 different documents or combinations
    of documents to prove legal presence.
    "Legislators that pass laws have no idea about immigration," said Rhoads,
    an attorney with Reed Smith in Richmond. "They have no idea what the
    documents are. People have an idea that you can present one single document
    to prove youre in the United States legally. Thats not so.
    "Its going to be awful for DMV." When in doubt, DMV may refuse to issue a license, which could create
    headaches for foreign academics and professionals who are here for
    legitimate purposes, Rhoads said.
    "No one wants to be the one who gives a license to the next Mohammed
    Atta," said Rhoads, referring to the lead hijacker aboard American Airlines
    Flight 11, which crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center on
    "If theres a question, the answers going to be no," he said. "DMVs goal is
    to be fair and equitable, but realize its going to be a very difficult task
    to get people trained."
    Agency spokeswoman Pam Goheen said DMV has offered extensive training to
    its employees over the past few months so they can recognize legal documents
    and help customers who dont understand the new policy.
    "Its kind of like Y2K," she said. "You cant predict what the outcome is
    going to be, but youre trying to prepare for every eventuality."
    According to the National Immigration Law Center, the District of Columbia
    and 36 states, including Virginia, have some sort of legal-presence
    requirement before issuing a drivers license or ID card.
    Both Albo and OBrien conceded that the new rules may cause hassles at DMV.
    But, they said, most Virginians will agree that its necessary.
    "Any citizen will nod their head and say this is one of the things since
    9/11 Ive got to do, just like Ive got to get scanned at the airport," OBrien
    said. "Any U.S. citizen who has to experience inconvenience has to remember
    why were doing this."
    An explanation of the new policy and a list of documents that can be used
    to prove "legal presence" are available in English and Spanish on DMVs Web
    site at For more information, you can also call 800/435-5137.
    Date published: 12/7/2003

  • #2
    VA DMV tightens process

    hmmmmmmmmmm. so there will be no terrorism if we tightness the
    :driving licenses process.


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