Over the Memorial Day Weekend, San Jose Police arrest records reported a number of traffic stop arrests that included drivers with suspended and/or revoked driver’s licenses, and evidence of ID scams, check cashing fraud, petty theft and robbery. With numerous other charges ranging from public drunkenness to DUI arrests, the cost to the offender can be anywhere from time served with a $235 dollar fine, to more than $10,000 in fines and restitution.
The San Jose Police Department is warning immigrants about scams by criminals offering undocumented immigrants the help they need to obtain a driver’s license from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) under AB 60. On October 3, 2013 Gov. Brown signed the law an act repealing a law that made it a misdemeanor for a person to knowingly assist in obtaining a driver’s license or identification card for a person whose presence in the United States is not authorized under federal law. However, the law does not go into effect until January 1, 2015.
The act repealed a law that prevented undocumented immigrants from going to a DMV and obtaining a California Drivers License from DMV employees. According to the San Jose Police Department, “Some criminals are asking for up to $1,000 each person to obtain a legal license”. The DMV requires two forms of ID to prove the authentication of the person being issued an ID card or driver’s license.
Under the new legislation, a person who may have taken residence in the United States illegally in California, despite immigration laws, can now enter a DMV and request to request a driver’s license by going through the same requirements other drivers are required to perform, without the worry of retaliatory actions by law enforcement agencies for fraudulent claims of citizenship.
“Several other states have issued driving licenses to the non documented drivers, and now with the passing of AB 60, California will be issuing licenses”. The wait makes it difficult for undocumented workers, and others to acquire a license without seeking false documentation in order to drive legally in California. Scam artists who are aware of the law have posted links on general web search sites, and are lying in wait to take advantage of those who are seeking to drive, but are not legally documented immigrants, and may not know the legitimate process. This makes a working community more vulnerable to scams promising easy access to ‘California Driver’s Licenses’. The official website is www.dmv.ca.gov. There is no other official office that issues California driver’s licenses, yet scam artists may create sites that mimic the official site, or offer assistance or shortcuts at inflated prices.