An Italian immigrant is suing the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles for refusing to translate the written driver’s license exam or allow for an interpreter. Federal law requires any agency receiving federal funds to accommodate folks with limited English proficiency. Apparently Rhode Island’s DMV will only allow the motorist to take the exam in English, Spanish or Portuguese.
According to Forbes magazine, truck driving is one of the country’s ten deadliest jobs. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teens are the country’s deadliest drivers. And Congress will soon put them together if it passes a new rider to the federal highway construction bill. True, teens are already able to drive big rigs within most states in the Union. Currently, however, federal law prevents them from driving across state lines in interstate commerce. The controversial provision was inserted in the 1,000-plus-page bill by the Senate Commerce Committee, chaired by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.). “Under current federal law, a 20-year-old holder of a commercial driver’s license in New York City can drive a truck to Buffalo, but not across the Hudson to Newark,” Hill said. “Similarly, a driver in Philadelphia can drive to Pittsburgh but not down the road to Wilmington or across a bridge to Camden. This legislation sets up a pilot program (with restrictions that include a prohibition on operating more than 100 miles from the border of the licensing state) so that states could consider limited changes to current restrictions on younger commercial drivers that would also have to secure the approval of the U.S. Secretary of Transportation before they could go into effect.”
The Orange County Register is reporting that a former DMV employee last Friday admitted to accepting bribes in return for giving out California driver’s licenses. Jose Alberto Carrillo pleaded guilty to felony counts of altering public documents and computer access and fraud. He was sentenced to three years of formal probation and 40 hours of community service. The charges stem from two bribes Carrillo took in May and June of 2012 in exchange for giving licenses to people who could not legally obtain them. Apparently prosecutors objected to the sentence as inadequate.
Thanks to CBS News for this item, originally reported by Univision in 2013. In 1988, California’s DMV issued a driver’s license to Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman under his “Max Aragon” alias. The license showed the Sinaloa drug cartel leader’s picture, height, age and his alleged Los Angeles address.
California’s controversial A.B.60 licensing program–allowing undocumented motorists to obtain valid driver’s licenses–is experiencing the problems of success. Six months into the new law, the DMV has received about 642,000 applications and issued about 341,000 driver’s licenses. The influx of applications has caused a backlog across the state. New procedures, however, promise to streamline the process and speed up the approval. Recently DMV has expanded the number of acceptable documents applicants may submit to establish their identity, which in turn reduces the number of applications sent for “secondary review.” Among the documents now accepted are California residency documents issued by any government within the U.S. (not just the federal government); Consular cards from Colombia and Ecuador; Identification cards from Ecuador; Passports from Tonga, Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea. By accepting more types of documents as proof of identity, DMV hopes to reduce the number of applications sent for “secondary review” by examiners. Erika Paz, who for the past year has mobilized many undocumented Inland residents to apply for licenses, said she’s heard from many people who have waited about six months to hear from the DMV in order to schedule their secondary review interviews. But things are improving. “Something that’s good is we’re seeing a lot more people get their letters to go to their interview,” Paz said. “We’re seeing movement.”
DMV has made it easier for motorists to get licenses under the so-called undocumented motorist program established by Assembly Bill 60. As of June 30, 2015, the California Department of Motor Vehicles will begin accepting: California residency documents that are issued by any government within the U.S., not just the federal government. Consular cards from Colombia and Ecuador. (The Colombia Consular Card was added to the list of accepted documents in anticipation of the new Consular card being produced by the Colombian Consulate. Currently this card is not in production.) Identification cards from Ecuador. Passports from Tonga, Sri Lanka, and Republic of Korea. Motorists with these documents will no longer have to provide their birth certificates as well.