Non-citizens Can't Get Licenses or ID Cards on Saturday

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Non-citizens should stay away from the Department of Motor Vehicles tomorrow, Aug. 25, because they’re not going to be able to get licenses or ID cards. The federal government is shutting down a key information portal for maintenance.
According to information from the CT Department of Motor Vehicles, “the federal government computer system that verifies residency status will be shut down for maintenance on Saturday, August 25, 2012. This maintenance will prevent the Connecticut DMV and AAA branches from issuing licenses or identity cards to those non-U.S. citizens who require legal presence checks.”
That effectively means non-citizens will not be able to get new licenses or ID cards until Tuesday, Aug. 28, at DMV offices open again. They are not open on Mondays. However, the ID cards and licenses should be available at AAA offices come Monday during regular business hours.
The problem appears to be nationwide. Non-citizens in other states will also not be able to renew their licenses this weekend because of the maintenance.
“We regret any inconvenience this causes our customers and the short notice about the shutdown,” said DMV Commissioner Melody A. Currey in a statement. “We expect DMV branches across Connecticut to be fully operational on Tuesday when we open for business.”
On Saturday, non-U.S. citizens will be unable to obtain:

  • A new Connecticut license or ID card, including an out-of-state transfer of a license or ID card.
  • Renewal of a verified license or ID card, which requires a check for legal presence in the United States.
  • A duplicate of a verified license or ID card. Duplicates are issued when these credentials are lost, stolen or need a name change.

These legal-presence checks are done through the federal Department of Homeland Security as a routine part of issuing driver licenses and ID cards.
The DMV press release does not explain what happens to drivers who licenses expire on Saturday and get pulled over before Tuesday. Its website says there is a $25 fee for renewing an expired license late. In Connecticut, the DMV website says, “While you can’t legally drive with an expired license, the state gives you up to two years after the expiration date to renew without having to repeat the licensing process.”