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I-539 approval backlog and expired driving license

I-539 approval backlog and expired driving license

Old Sep 15th 2020, 6:10 pm
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Default I-539 approval backlog and expired driving license

Just wondered if anyone else in similar position to me. My driving license expired May1st at the same time my visa extention expired. Mine and my kids I-539s were filed around April at the same time as my husbands I-129. Even without premium processing, my husband's I-129 was approved very quickly within a couple of weeks however mine and my kids I-539s seem to be stuck in the covid19 backlog abyss and my lawyer thinks I have to be prepared it my take many more months. My question is does anyone know if there is any possible way I can get driving license in the mean time? I am still driving as I have a valid UK license still but I know this is technically not allowed (in Florida where I live anyway). I did go to the DMV to try and renew a couple of months ago but I was told that too much time had elapsed between my I-94 date and the appointment date. I find this very confusing and I may be clutching at straws but just need to double check somehow if any other way. Surely there must be many many others in similar position...
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Old Sep 15th 2020, 10:13 pm
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Default Re: I-539 approval backlog and expired driving license

go back armed with documents and if the clerk dealing with you can't get it sorted out, then ask if they can check it with their supervisor.
  1. In essence you are here legally and so SAVE should be able to verify you. That's what the i94 is all about and it could be that SAVE didn't verify you automatically and you may need to have your immigration status verified manually. This may take a few weeks but you can check the progress online.
  2. Take a newly printed i94 and a copy of your i539 and have them run it again.
  3. Insist on a manual verification through SAVE if they can't get it to process.
  4. Check the expiration date of your license when it comes through - you may need to go back and get everything updated again
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Old Sep 15th 2020, 11:16 pm
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Default Re: I-539 approval backlog and expired driving license

Going to do exactly that, thanks petitefrancais.... wish id posted here sooner
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Old Sep 16th 2020, 10:44 am
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Default Re: I-539 approval backlog and expired driving license

You may want to try and visit a DMV that is in an immigrant heavy area - you should be able to find one in Miami

I found here in GA that going to a major city when I had an immigrations/DL issue was much easier than dealing with a backwoods DMV that never saw an immigrant.
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Old Sep 16th 2020, 1:13 pm
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Wink Re: I-539 approval backlog and expired driving license

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
You may want to try and visit a DMV that is in an immigrant heavy area - you should be able to find one in Miami

I found here in GA that going to a major city when I had an immigrations/DL issue was much easier than dealing with a backwoods DMV that never saw an immigrant.
good idea thankyou, in the past I have always purposely made appts as far from Miami as I am willing to drive because of language barriers and general Miami customer service!
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Old Sep 16th 2020, 6:42 pm
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Default Re: I-539 approval backlog and expired driving license

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
You may want to try and visit a DMV that is in an immigrant heavy area - you should be able to find one in Miami

I found here in GA that going to a major city when I had an immigrations/DL issue was much easier than dealing with a backwoods DMV that never saw an immigrant.
I second civilservant's opinion. Here in central PA I am sure we would have had a different experience on our (multiple) visits to the DMV is we had gone to a rural one rather than the local office to State College (aka home of Penn State University). The local DMV deals with many, many foreign students and academics (don't go in August) every year and simply dealing with people that know there is a foreign world out there makes it a little easier. Arm yourself with ALL the documentation you will/might need so that it is available when you need it. I also printed out the PA "FACT SHEET Identification and Legal Presence Requirementsfor Non-United States Citizens" which lists the required documentation for each visa/residency type, if you can find a similar document for Florida it will help you get your ducks in a row - this looks like a good start https://www.flhsmv.gov/driver-licens...what-to-bring/ .

Last edited by lizzyq; Sep 16th 2020 at 6:45 pm.
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Old Sep 17th 2020, 12:57 am
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Default Re: I-539 approval backlog and expired driving license

Originally Posted by lizzyq View Post
I second civilservant's opinion. Here in central PA I am sure we would have had a different experience on our (multiple) visits to the DMV is we had gone to a rural one rather than the local office to State College (aka home of Penn State University). The local DMV deals with many, many foreign students and academics (don't go in August) every year and simply dealing with people that know there is a foreign world out there makes it a little easier. Arm yourself with ALL the documentation you will/might need so that it is available when you need it. I also printed out the PA "FACT SHEET Identification and Legal Presence Requirementsfor Non-United States Citizens" which lists the required documentation for each visa/residency type, if you can find a similar document for Florida it will help you get your ducks in a row - this looks like a good start https://www.flhsmv.gov/driver-licens...what-to-bring/ .

thankyou for the advice, im on the case albeit my biggest challenge at the mo is getting an available appt!
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Old Sep 17th 2020, 4:29 am
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Default Re: I-539 approval backlog and expired driving license

I would make the appointment but not be in too much of a hurry with it....
You will have the bit of paper with an appointment should you be stopped at all - and I know that here in Austin the police aren't bothering about of date licenses since they know there is at least a 3 month wait.

I would hope that you get all your i539 stuff approved before your appointment at the Driver's license office and then your application will sail through. If you don't have the extension approval - then SAVE verification is probably not going to work online at the office and there is NO guarantee that it will go through manually either. I don't know how they would come up with an end date for example.
Just fyi - that last clerk you spoke to didn't know what she was talking about.... she just had to enter the # on the i94 into the SAVE database. If it didn't work it's because SAVE thinks you are out of status or can't cope with extensions.....nothing to do with the date of the i94.
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Old Sep 17th 2020, 4:31 am
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Default Re: I-539 approval backlog and expired driving license

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
I would make the appointment but not be in too much of a hurry with it....
You will have the bit of paper with an appointment should you be stopped at all - and I know that here in Austin the police aren't bothering about of date licenses since they know there is at least a 3 month wait.

I would hope that you get all your i539 stuff approved before your appointment at the Driver's license office and then your application will sail through. If you don't have the extension approval - then SAVE verification is probably not going to work online at the office and there is NO guarantee that it will go through manually either. I don't know how they would come up with an end date for example.
Just fyi - that last clerk you spoke to didn't know what she was talking about.... she just had to enter the # on the i94 into the SAVE database. If it didn't work it's because SAVE thinks you are out of status or can't cope with extensions.....nothing to do with the date of the i94.
wow, I was clueless. I never even heard of SAVE until this thread. So frustrating. I just managed to get an appt oct 16th. thanks so much!
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Old Oct 1st 2020, 7:58 pm
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Default Re: I-539 approval backlog and expired driving license

update: had my appt this morning. Complete waste of time. wouldn't check my status on SAVE, wouldn't look at letter from my lawyer stating how they can verify I am legal to be here, wouldn't really even let me speak...just sent me on my way. Looks like have to wait it out for my approval notice ...and hope I dont get in trouble driving with just UK license.
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Old Oct 2nd 2020, 2:30 pm
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Default Re: I-539 approval backlog and expired driving license

Originally Posted by karenkaren1 View Post
update: had my appt this morning. Complete waste of time. wouldn't check my status on SAVE, wouldn't look at letter from my lawyer stating how they can verify I am legal to be here, wouldn't really even let me speak...just sent me on my way. Looks like have to wait it out for my approval notice ...and hope I dont get in trouble driving with just UK license.
try a different office...all DMVs are not the same!
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Old Oct 2nd 2020, 7:38 pm
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Default Re: I-539 approval backlog and expired driving license

Originally Posted by karenkaren1 View Post
update: had my appt this morning. Complete waste of time. wouldn't check my status on SAVE, wouldn't look at letter from my lawyer stating how they can verify I am legal to be here, wouldn't really even let me speak...just sent me on my way. Looks like have to wait it out for my approval notice ...and hope I dont get in trouble driving with just UK license.
That's not uncommon, but in practice the deadline set by states is often wildly unrealistic to obtain a local state license, and so long as you carry evidence that you're using your best endeavors to get a license - i.e. you have started the process but have been prevented from completing it, you are unlikly to have too much of a problem with traffic police. It has been reported annecdotally here on BE that police have seemed rather unconcerned, even beyond the state-set deadline, so long as you've started the process - I presume that might be dfferent if you cause an accident.
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Old Oct 2nd 2020, 9:13 pm
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Default Re: I-539 approval backlog and expired driving license

thanks jersey girl & pulaski. As it happens I was in an accident in Aug in Vegas. totally my fault - accidentally ran a stop sign. Cop didn't bat an eyelid at my expired license. I just said "covid" and shrugged my shoulders. (I figured I just had a nice cop!). will try one more DMV, thanks again
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Old Oct 2nd 2020, 11:10 pm
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Default Re: I-539 approval backlog and expired driving license

Originally Posted by karenkaren1 View Post
thanks jersey girl & pulaski. As it happens I was in an accident in Aug in Vegas. totally my fault - accidentally ran a stop sign. Cop didn't bat an eyelid at my expired license. I just said "covid" and shrugged my shoulders. (I figured I just had a nice cop!). will try one more DMV, thanks again
I wouldn't bother going back until you have your stuff from USCIS.
If they won't even check SAVE (it costs them $ to do this) then this might be a directive from State.
I'm not of the opinion that it helps to go somewhere with a lot of immigrants because from what I see, the clerks just get fed up with dealing with people who don't have the right paperwork etc. I tend to go to a small office near me, where the staff know me and know that I don't waste their time and if I suggest " would you mind checking with your supervisor" know that I am probably right.
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Old Oct 9th 2020, 2:06 pm
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Default Re: I-539 approval backlog and expired driving license

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
I wouldn't bother going back until you have your stuff from USCIS.
If they won't even check SAVE (it costs them $ to do this) then this might be a directive from State.
I'm not of the opinion that it helps to go somewhere with a lot of immigrants because from what I see, the clerks just get fed up with dealing with people who don't have the right paperwork etc. I tend to go to a small office near me, where the staff know me and know that I don't waste their time and if I suggest " would you mind checking with your supervisor" know that I am probably right.
Agreed. My, admittedly limited, experience is that small offices in rural areas are easier to deal with, even if there is no "immigration paperwork angle" to whatever you're trying to do.

I was near a DMV office in the Charlotte, NC area last year and decided it was convenient to pop in to replace my drivers license with a new "Real ID" license, but they weren't very helpful and ended up going back to the DMV office near where I live, and found them more helpful, and the office was a lot less busy too.

A few years ago a colleague who lives in Charlotte reported that renewing his license took so long that he could have driven to the office near me, got his new license, and driven back again, and it would still have taken him less time than he spent waiting in the DMV office in Charlotte.

I took my original US road test in New York, and although I lived in the suburbs just north of NYC I drove all the way up to Herkimer to take my road test as there were slots available there the following week, whereas the test center close to where I lived had no slots available for nearly three months!

..... Hence my oft-repeated advice to head to a small town in a rural area for your test and licensing matters.
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