UPDATE: Texas Driver’s Licenses and Correcting Your Records on SAVE

By: The Chander Law Firm, P.C.

The State of Texas has issued revised guidance on the process for foreign nationals to obtain driver’s licenses.  The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) requires verification documentation demonstrating the applicant meets lawful presence requirements.  DPS is then verifying documentation with USCIS’ Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program.  Even if applicants provide valid proof of lawful immigration status, DPS will deny issuance of driver’s licenses if the status is not reflected in the SAVE system.

 

A Texas driver’s license applicant who is not a United States citizen, national, lawful permanent resident, refugee, or asylee must provide documentation establishing lawful presence in the United States.  Any documentation provided must have the same name and date of birth, or include evidence of a lawful name change.  The driver’s license will be issued only through the period of lawful presence authorized.  DPS has provided a guide containing the proper documentation that should be presented for various immigration statuses.

 

Even if an applicant provides the requested documentation, DPS may still deny an application for driver’s license if the information is not verified through the USCIS SAVE system. 

 

DPS customer service representatives are supposed to explain the verification process to applicants.  A DPS agent will first check documentation to receive real time verification through the SAVE system.  If the documentation is not immediately verified, a second level check will occur, taking three to five business days.  Third level check involves manual submission of documentation by DPS to USCIS, which could take an indefinite amount of time.

This process may cause difficulties for those with pending applications for extension or change of status, whose period of lawful authorization will not be reflected in any documentation.  This may also cause problems for individuals where there is an error in the SAVE system.

 Correcting SAVE Records

 USCIS has provided guidance for individuals who have determined there is an error regarding their records in the SAVE system.  USCIS recommends the following:

1.  Contact USCIS: Schedule an appointment for an in-person interview at a local USCIS office at the InfoPass Web site, infopass.uscis.gov, or by calling the National Customer Service Center, 1-800-375-5283.  Scheduling an appointment is the fastest way to correct your records.  You should bring documentation supporting your immigration status and any information provided by the benefit-granting agency concerning why your immigration status makes you ineligible to receive the benefit.

2.  Submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in writing. If you know the information that needs to be corrected in your record, you may submit a request to correct your records to the Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act (FOIA/PA) Office at the following address:

Privacy Act Amendment
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
National Records Center
FOIA/PA Office
P.O. Box 648010
Lee’s Summit, MO 64064-8010

We recommend that you include the following information in your submission, if available:

 

The benefit you were denied
Copies of your immigration document
Information that is inaccurate
Reason it is inaccurate
Proposed change(s) to the record
A-File number and/or the full name
Date and place of birth
Notarized signature of the applicant
A return address
Other information that may assist in locating the record

If you do not know the information you need to correct, you may submit a written request to obtain your records by submitting Form G-639, FOIA/PA Request.  This form is available at your nearest USCIS office or can be obtained online at www.uscis.gov/files/form/g-639.pdf.  You should use the address specified above, but mark the envelope “Privacy Act Request” rather than “Privacy Act Amendment.”

3.  Contact Customs and Border Protection (CBP): Correct your Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, issued when you entered the United States.  If the error in your immigration document occurred upon entering the United States, you must visit a local CBP Deferred Inspection Site or a Port of Entry or Admission to have it corrected. For a list of Deferred Inspection Sites or Ports, please visit the CBP website (www.cbp.gov) and click on the “Ports” link at the bottom of the page. (Please note if USCIS issued your Form I-94, you should contact USCIS to correct that particular record.)

4.  Visit USCIS Web site: For information about how to renew or replace your immigration document visit the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov .

5.  If you are a student or exchange visitor in the United States, refer to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Web site for more information www.ice.gov/SEVIS .

Related Links

Texas Department of Public Safety, Temporary Visitor Issuance Guide: Lawful Presence Requirements for Applicants.

USCIS, How to Correct Your Records (SAVE) (10/01/2012).

USCIS, Información para no ciudadanos que solicitan un beneficio público.

SAVE - Information for Applicants: Verification of Immigration Status and How to Correct your Record with USCIS (English and Multilingual Versions).



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