DOJ warns against license application scams
California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris issued a consumer alert Thursday regarding possible scams targeting immigrants planning to apply for driver licenses.
When major changes to laws affecting immigrants are passed, con artists often emerge to prey on vulnerable consumers, a California Department of Justice press release stated.
The consumer alert also provided tips on how to avoid and report driver license scams.
The alert comes after the introduction of Assembly Bill 60 (AB 60), which makes many California residents eligible to get a driver license regardless of immigration status. AB 60 goes into effect on Jan. 1.
In preparation for AB 60, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) hired additional employees, held department-wide training, and is planning to open new, temporary offices to handle extra driver license appointments, the press release stated.
Those applying for a driver license under AB 60 must show satisfactory proof of identity, proof of California residency, and meet all other qualifications for getting a driver license, including passing a knowledge test, vision test, and behind-the-wheel driving test, which will be taken after getting a temporary driver permit.
Regarding possible scams, Harris recommends applicants complete their driver license application alone or with the help of trusted family or friends.
The process, the press release states, is simple and the DMV provides free resources to guide applicants.
Furthermore, the press release stated that applicants should not pay anyone for help to fill out driver license documents.
Beginning Jan. 1, it will be illegal for anyone to accept money solely for completing a driver license application for another person, the press release states.
The DOJ particularly warned against anyone who says they have “connections” with the DMV.
“No one can speed up the process of getting a driver license for you,” the press release stated.
Driver license examinations are available in many languages and can be given orally by a DMV employee on request. Anyone who needs an interpreter can call 1-800-777-0133 for foreign language assistance.
The DOJ also advises applicants not to pay anyone who offers to translate documents, as the DMV offers free translation services.
The cost for completing the application for a Class C or Class M driver license under AB 60 costs $33, the same price as a regular license application.