The California Attorney General’s Office has issued a warning of scammers targeting immigrants applying for driver's licenses.
Under Assembly Bill 60, which will go into effect on Jan. 1 2015, California residents can apply for a driver's license, regardless of immigration status. Individuals applying for a driver license under AB 60 must show satisfactory proof of identity, proof of California residency, and meet all other qualifications for getting a driver license, including passing a knowledge test, vision test, and behind-the-wheel driving test, which will be taken after getting a temporary driver permit.
When major changes to laws affecting immigrants are passed, con artists often emerge to prey on vulnerable consumers, the attorney general’s office warned.
First and foremost, the attorney general’s office said no individual should pay someone to complete the driver’s license application form. Instead the application form should be filled out alone, or with the help of a trusted family member or friend. The Department of Vehicles provides free resources to guide individuals through the application.
Starting on Jan. 1, 2015, it will be illegal for anyone to accept money solely for completing a driver license application for another person. Be wary of anyone who says they have “connections” with the DMV. They are likely lying; no one can speed up the process of getting a driver license.
Driver license examinations are available in many languages and can be given orally by a DMV employee on request. If a person needs an interpreter, call 1-800-777-0133 and indicate that foreign language assistance is needed. Do not pay anyone who offers to translate documents, because the DMV offers free translation services.
The cost for completing the application for a Class C (most cars) or Class M (motorcycles and scooters) license is $33. A driver license under AB 60 is the same price as other licenses. Only pay this fee to the DMV directly; any payment to someone else is likely a scam.
The DMV has hired additional employees, held department-wide training, and is opening new, temporary offices to handle extra driver license appointments.