DMV said I was not a US Citizen. What should I do?


DMVs across the country are telling some people that they are not us citizens, and the DMV may be right.

Many people believe their parents regarding where they were born. From the immigrant family perspective, you normally have a foreign passport that is used to visit family abroad. Since IDs are in your hand, with a foreign passport or an expiring drivers license, you always knew your name and date of birth. But, when your place of birth becomes an issue, you look towards your birth certificate. Honestly, not many people see the birth certificate on a frequent basis, unless employment requires it for a background check.

With the REAL ID Act going into full effect October 1, 2020, DMVs are requiring more documentation to prove name, date of birth, place of birth, social security number, and legal status in the United States. It is no longer as easy to renew a driver license with an expired/expiring drivers license and a social security card.

From an Immigration Law Firm Standpoint, we have begun seeing an increase in clients realizing that there may be immigration paperwork issues when the DMV refuses to issue a driver’s license. The usual situations could be summarized below:

  1. Obsolete version of I-151 Green Card with no Expiration Date, where the holder never new it expired
  2. Obsolete version of I-551 Green Card with no Expiration Date, where the holder never new it expired
  3. Where the Parents Naturalized, but did not file for the Child’s Dirivitve US Citizenship Certificate or US Passport
  4. Where one parent is a US Citizen by birth, and by meeting all of the US Citizenship Qualification, technically a US Citizen, but no filing occurred for US Citizenship Certificate or US Passport or Consular Report of Birth Abroad

If you learn you were not Born in the United States or are not a US Citizen or your Green Card is no longer valid, and the DMV gave the unfortunate news that you have “paperwork or proof issues” with your Status in the United States, you should speak with an Immigration Attorney about your options. You can contact our office to schedule a consultation.


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