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Spitzer Allows Undocumented to Drive

Spitzer Allows Undocumented to Drive

Old Oct 1st 2007, 8:12 am
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Default Spitzer Allows Undocumented to Drive

NEW York Governor Eliot Spitzer announced Friday, September 21 a major policy change that will allow undocumented New Yorkers to obtain a driver’s license beginning in December.

Presently the only way to get a driver’s license in New York is through obtaining a formal letter of eligibility from the Social Security office, a letter that was only obtainable by individuals who have legal immigration status.

However, under Spitzer’s new policy change, which does not require legislative approval, an estimated 750,000 undocumented New Yorkers will now be eligible for a license once they can produce a valid form of identification, including a passport.

http://www.irishabroad.com/news/iris...ive260907.aspx
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Old Oct 1st 2007, 1:05 pm
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Default Re: Spitzer Allows Undocumented to Drive

Originally Posted by waterlooo View Post
Presently the only way to get a driver’s license in New York is through obtaining a formal letter of eligibility from the Social Security office, a letter that was only obtainable by individuals who have legal immigration status.
That's not true - NYS DMV says:
You must show your Social Security card. If you are not eligible for a Social Security Number, you must get a letter from the Social Security Administration that indicates that you are not eligible for a Social Security Number. You must show the letter to the DMV.
Illegal immigrants already can get NYS drivers licenses - they just need the letter from the SSA telling them to sod off.

I'm in favor of this change. The whole idea of trying to make a driver's license proof of anything except licensure to drive is unworkable. In the absence of any real will to round up illegal immigrants and deport them, and given the car dependency in the US, all it creates is a large pool of unlicensed and uninsured drivers. I mean, Jesus, the licensed drivers are terrible enough...
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Old Oct 2nd 2007, 9:04 am
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Default Re: Spitzer Allows Undocumented to Drive

Originally Posted by lapin_windstar View Post
That's not true - NYS DMV says:

Illegal immigrants already can get NYS drivers licenses - they just need the letter from the SSA telling them to sod off.

I'm in favor of this change. The whole idea of trying to make a driver's license proof of anything except licensure to drive is unworkable. In the absence of any real will to round up illegal immigrants and deport them, and given the car dependency in the US, all it creates is a large pool of unlicensed and uninsured drivers. I mean, Jesus, the licensed drivers are terrible enough...
Very smart political move by Spitzer.Not only is he a good man but he is proving to be a smooth operator.This move puts more pressure on the radical Republicans.
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Old Oct 3rd 2007, 1:20 am
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Default Re: Spitzer Allows Undocumented to Drive

New York is a bloody joke for getting a DL - if you come from UK you need lessons and have to get someone else to drive you to the test! Luckily it was more straight forward in Texas. But they stamp tempory visitor over the front with the expiration date of your I-94 on it, which is pointless cos everyone ignores it as the licence is valid beyond that date! And if you dont keep schtum they will take your UK licence away!!
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Old Oct 3rd 2007, 1:53 am
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Default Re: Spitzer Allows Undocumented to Drive

Originally Posted by Big D View Post
New York is a bloody joke for getting a DL - if you come from UK you need lessons and have to get someone else to drive you to the test! Luckily it was more straight forward in Texas. But they stamp tempory visitor over the front with the expiration date of your I-94 on it, which is pointless cos everyone ignores it as the licence is valid beyond that date! And if you dont keep schtum they will take your UK licence away!!
Not strictly true. You can obtain a SS# when you arrive on a K1 and are applying for AOS. During this time , until you officially become a US resident you are allowed to drive on your UK licence. I drove to my road test on my own.

However, I did have to sit in a classrooom with a bunch of spotty kids for 4 hours doing my drivers ed class before I could take the road test. Bloody stupid.
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Old Oct 3rd 2007, 4:52 am
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Default Re: Spitzer Allows Undocumented to Drive

Laws must have changed because about 10 years ago my BIL got a California drivers license while on vacation here.
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Old Oct 3rd 2007, 12:40 pm
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Default Re: Spitzer Allows Undocumented to Drive

Hold on, I've been thinking about this this morning, and both the paper and I are talking bollocks. The problem at the moment isn't the SSN letter, which anyone can get, it's the requirement to show a passport with proof of legal status. Presumably it's that second thing and the first thing that Spitzer is changing.
Originally Posted by Rushman View Post
During this time , until you officially become a US resident you are allowed to drive on your UK licence. I drove to my road test on my own.
No, I don't think that's exactly right - you have a maximum of thirty days once you become a resident of New York State to exchange a foreign/out of state license. "Resident" is about actually living here - it's not to do with formal immigration status. See here: http://www.nysdmv.com/resident.htm Obviously, that's not something that's possible to police/enforce rigorously.

Equally, if you have a foreign driver's license, you're supposed to hand it in to the examiner when you pass your test. For people licensed in the UK, this isn't too much of a problem, as the DVLA will replace it for a few quid.
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Old Oct 3rd 2007, 12:45 pm
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Default Re: Spitzer Allows Undocumented to Drive

Originally Posted by YankeemovingAbroad View Post
Very smart political move by Spitzer.Not only is he a good man but he is proving to be a smooth operator.This move puts more pressure on the radical Republicans.
Pressure to do what?
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Old Oct 3rd 2007, 4:25 pm
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Default Re: Spitzer Allows Undocumented to Drive

Originally Posted by another bloody yank View Post
Pressure to do what?
I agree - I am not sure if I see the short-term political gain in this either. Illegal immigration is a hot topic, but illegal immigrants are not a big electoral constituency (obviously), so it's hardly going to win a lot of votes. If anything, it's going to alienate the softcore "swing" Republicans and the Unionized anti-immigrant Democrats, isn't it?
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Old Oct 4th 2007, 6:05 am
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Default Re: Spitzer Allows Undocumented to Drive

Originally Posted by lapin_windstar View Post

No, I don't think that's exactly right - you have a maximum of thirty days once you become a resident of New York State to exchange a foreign/out of state license.
How does that differ to what I said. You can drive on your UK licence until you are a resident and then take your test.

Originally Posted by lapin_windstar View Post
"Resident" is about actually living here - it's not to do with formal immigration status. See here: http://www.nysdmv.com/resident.htm.
Actually... it is to do with formal immigration status...See here.

If you are not eligible for a Social Security Card, you must provide a letter from the US Social Security Administration (SSA) that states that you are not eligible. The SSA Letter must have been issued within the last 30 days. You must also show an I-94 with one of the following codes: B-1, B-2, E-2, F-2, H4, L-2, M-2, O-3, P-4, Q-3, R-2 or TD. At least 11 months of valid, legal status must remain on your I-94."

Originally Posted by lapin_windstar View Post
Equally, if you have a foreign driver's license, you're supposed to hand it in to the examiner when you pass your test. For people licensed in the UK, this isn't too much of a problem, as the DVLA will replace it for a few quid.
Only a muppet would hand over his UK licence. Your UK licence is the best part of useless here once you start taking the NY tests so why would anyone volunterr that they have one?


You're new to the NYDMV aren't you? Their website is a complete cluster**** and contains so much contradictory information that is laughable. Should you ever get any points don't bother with the defensive driving course to get them off as they say they do, because they don't come off for insurance records.
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Old Oct 4th 2007, 1:34 pm
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Default Re: Spitzer Allows Undocumented to Drive

1) It does differ from what you said. NY law says that you've got thirty days from becoming a resident in NYS to get a NY drivers license if you want to continue to drive.
The law defines a resident as a person who lives in NYS with the intent to make NYS a "fixed and permanent" place to live.
This applies to everyone, not just foreigners. In other words, the clock starts ticking as soon as you arrive in NY for the purpose of living in NY, not from the day when you become a Permanent Resident, which is a completely different process. You could be a resident but also an illegal immigrant.

2) The requirement to show legal immigration status to get a license is separate from the 30 day clock.

3) I didn't say it was a good idea to give them your old license, I just said you're "supposed to", which is different...

Last edited by lapin_windstar; Oct 4th 2007 at 1:36 pm.
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