Dec. 16, 2008
Agency will use federal system to verify immigration documents
DMV will begin to electronically verify information contained on U.S. immigration documents presented as proof of lawful presence in the United States by applicants for Oregon Driver Licenses, Instruction Permits and ID Cards. This requirement will take effect Jan. 1, 2009.
DMV will verify the information by using the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program operated by the federal Department of Homeland Security.
DMV will not issue driving privileges or ID cards to applicants whose immigration documents cannot be verified with the SAVE system. However, applicants who meet all other Oregon requirements for a driver license may qualify for a temporary license to provide time for the customer to resolve the problem.
"There could be reasons why an applicant's information may not verify through a SAVE check," DMV Administrator Tom McClellan said. "Like the electronic check of Social Security numbers, a small percentage will not verify because of a discrepancy in some piece of the information, such as the name or date of birth."
Also effective after Jan. 1, 2009, DMV will begin to note the U.S. citizenship or lawful immigration status on customer records. This new capability means that once an individual has provided Oregon DMV with proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent lawful presence in the U.S., he or she will not need to do so again for subsequent license or ID card renewals.
However, individuals with temporary stays in the U.S. will need to bring proof of continued lawful presence each time they renew their Oregon license or ID card.
"We don't know how many customers this will affect because Oregon DMV has never recorded citizenship or immigration status before," McClellan said. "But based on U.S. Census estimates of the nation's immigrant population, we expect the SAVE verification will apply to about three percent of our customers."
There are about 3 million licensed drivers in Oregon.
These changes are part of Senate Bill 1080, passed by the 2008 Oregon Legislature to strengthen driver license and ID requirements. Under the new state law, which took effect July 1, Oregon began requiring documented proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful presence in the country; proof of Social Security number, as well as electronic verification of the number; and proof of full legal name.
"Applicants who have problems meeting these new state requirements can get some assistance from DMV by calling your local DMV phone number and asking for the ombudsman service," McClellan said. "This service can provide contact phone numbers to help customers obtain documents. We can't do the leg work for them, but we can point them in the right direction."
The new requirements are in addition to all other eligibility requirements and fees for an Oregon Driver License, Instruction Permit or ID Card. Visit www.OregonDMV.com for up-to-date details.