Driver's License with I-797

Jack0381

Registered Users (C)
#1
Hi, im fairly new to this forum but i feel a sense of "belonging" because i realize we are all in the same situation here.

Unfortunately several years back our family lawyer missed the deadline to renew my dad's skilled worker visa and screwed us all over. Mad

Anyways, cant do anything about that now, but i had a few questions. My dad recently received his I-797 worker's petition, and the DMV site says that they take that as a form of proof of legal residence, but when i actually went they said i needed the I-94 CARD attached to the form? This doesnt make sense as i would only get the I-94 if i had a greencard, as my lawyer said. My lawyer also suggested that since the new I-94 number they demanded would be the same as my old one that expired, the DMV can use the old number. Is this valid? Is it only a matter of how strict the DMV is? Are there any ways around this?

I honestly am not expecting much from this method (more relying on the recent bill and DREAM), but right now any way of becoming legalized again would help. Fortunately i live in CA where they give state-tuition for students like us, but having to live with this problem makes me feel even incompetent, and moving to canada seems like a better option.

i know this situation is a bit complex but pleaaaaaaase, any input or advice would help. TIA
 
#2
Get license from other state which has diffrent requirements. I had same problem. DMV was not accepting my I-797 as a legal presence becuse it was more than one year old. So i gott license from diffrent state for 6 yrs .
Good luck.
 

Jack0381

Registered Users (C)
#3
Can i do that even if i dont have a residence in the other state?
I was assuming if i lived in CA then i wouldnt be able to get another state's license.

If thats not a problem, which state would you suggest? I am in CA btw.

Oh and my I-797 was issued couple months ago, so the expiration of that should not be a problem as of now. Just wondering if the I-797 without the attached I-94 card along with the old expired I-number should be enough evidence of legal status, or rather my intentions of becoming legalized.
 
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xtension

Registered Users (C)
#4
As you mentioned, if I-797 is valid then that's enough as per my knowledge. Make sure you take SSN (original ) with you and I-797.

Jack0381 said:
Can i do that even if i dont have a residence in the other state?
I was assuming if i lived in CA then i wouldnt be able to get another state's license.

If thats not a problem, which state would you suggest? I am in CA btw.

Oh and my I-797 was issued couple months ago, so the expiration of that should not be a problem as of now. Just wondering if the I-797 without the attached I-94 card along with the old expired I-number should be enough evidence of legal status, or rather my intentions of becoming legalized.
 

Jack0381

Registered Users (C)
#5
Thanks for the input, and yea i also thought it should be enough evidence, but apparently the dmv clerk said i need to have the I-94 attached on the I-797?

Duno, im hoping the clerk was just ignorant about this and im giving the state DMV tomorrow to see whats really up. I'll keep posted on what happens.
 

wik

Registered Users (C)
#6
Jack0381 said:
Thanks for the input, and yea i also thought it should be enough evidence, but apparently the dmv clerk said i need to have the I-94 attached on the I-797?

Duno, im hoping the clerk was just ignorant about this and im giving the state DMV tomorrow to see whats really up. I'll keep posted on what happens.
As I've discussed many times in this forum, relying on DMV clerks to be the front line in immigration enforcement is a very poor policy. They barely know their own regulations half the time, let alone being fully conversant in immigration laws and policy.

My own issue with the CA DMV dated back to 1993, when they first started policing immigration and they didn't know what the hell was going on. I ended up writing to the then director of the CA DMV in Sacramento, and finally got satisfactory service and a letter of apology.

Anyway, why don't you print out this section from the CA DMV's own Web site and take it with you (and the URL too, so they can look it up on their own terminals):

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#BDLP

The regulations clearly state that you only need to provide ONE of the list of documents to demonstrate the Legal Presence requirement, and an I-797 Approved Petition is one of them.

In fact, it also states that I-94s are only accepted in four cases: refugee situations; as an adjunct to I-551 stamps (temporary permanent residency stamp); with a Mexican Border Crossing Card; or with a foreign passport (but I assume in that final case that the validity would be limited to the validity dates of the I-94 - for example, Canadian Citizens in non-immigrant status like H-1 or O-1 do not get a physical visa -- the I-94 serves that purpose)

Here is the complete list from the above URL:


-----------------------------
Only the original or a certified copy of ONE of the following documents is acceptable:

* US Birth Certificate
* US Certificate or Report of Birth Abroad
* Federal Proof of Indian Blood Degree
* INS American Indian Card
* Birth Certificate or passport issued from a US Territory
* US Passport
* US Military Identification Cards (Active or reserve duty, dependent, retired member, discharged from service, medical/religious personnel)
* Common Access Card (only if designated as Active military or Active Reserve or Active Selected Reserve)
* Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship
* Northern Mariana Card
* INS US Citizen ID Card
* Permanent Resident Card
* Temporary Resident Identification Card
* Canadian Passport/Birth Certificate
* Non-resident Alien Canadian Border Crossing Card
* Valid foreign passport with a valid Record of Arrival/Departure (form I-94)
* Certification from California Department of Corrections or California Youth Authority
* Employment Authorization Card
* Permanent Resident Re-entry Permit
* Refugee travel document
* "Processed for I-551" stamped in a valid foreign passport
* Valid I-94 stamped "Refugee," "Parole or Parolee," "Asylee," or Section 207, Section 208, Section 209, Section 212d(2), HP or PIP
* Immigration judge's order granting asylum
* Certified court order or judgment issued from a court of competent jurisdiction.
* Valid I-94 with attached photo stamped "Processed for I-551 temporary evidence of lawful admission for permanent residence"
* Notice of Action (I-797 Approved Petition)
* Mexican Border Crossing Card with valid I-94

If you still do not get treated satisfactorily, find out the name of the DMV Director in Sacramento, and write a letter explaining your situation, along with a copy of their published requirements and your document. I guarantee it will then be given to someone who will be told to help you.
 

Jack0381

Registered Users (C)
#7
anyways i called couple days ago..the person said the samme thing. i even suggested that maybe i can use the expired I-94 number but she said i need to get it renewed. However, she did acknowledge that even if i were to get it renewed it'd be the same number.

Anyways, looks like DREAMS my only option left.
 

wik

Registered Users (C)
#8
Jack0381 said:
anyways i called couple days ago..the person said the samme thing. i even suggested that maybe i can use the expired I-94 number but she said i need to get it renewed. However, she did acknowledge that even if i were to get it renewed it'd be the same number.

Anyways, looks like DREAMS my only option left.
Did you read my post above? It appears that you have everything you need to apply, so try a different DMV office (with a printout and URL of their own requirements), or immediately send a letter to the current Director of the DMV in Sacramento (you can get the name from the DMV Web site). You don't need to dream, you need to take action! You can prevail over this nonsense.
 

Jack0381

Registered Users (C)
#9
I've taken the printout of the requirements to a number of dmv's and they've all said the same thing- we need an I-number. One said that the new i-94 card comes WITH the I-797, so maybe thats what the I-797 requirement online is referring to. Either way, they said they need an I-number to process my license, which i dont have besides the expired one. the only way i see around this is if they just use the expired I-number which WOULD be the same if i were to get it renewed?

Thanks for the concern and advice Wik, but i dont think its only a matter of ignorance of the workers.

Im kinda hesitant to send the director everything since the I-797 IS under my dads name and if anything goes wrong itll jeopardize my whole family. Plus the woman i talked to over the phone WAS pretty well informed about all this.

Oh and im not sure how you took it but when i said all i have left is DREAM i was referring to the DREAM act, that lets illegal students apply for greencards, etc.

anyways thanks again, maybe ill send that letter just to completely make sure after i talk it over with my parents.
 

yasyas

Registered Users (C)
#10
hey jack i am in the EXACT situation you are in (check my posts).
My i797 included:
my MOTHERS name
NO ALIEN number of any sort
just a letter saying they have our petition etc etc

so i was fortunate enough to get a nice clerk that gave me a permit
i DO have my DL now BUT i only have the temp. paper one (i had to wait for mine in the mail--- but of course i never received it and it will expire soon, my plan is to go to the dmv and have them renew it with a stamp or something)

just keep trying (i tried twice till someone finally allowed me)
and wil is right--- dmv clerks don't know much. so be NICE AND COURTEOUS AND SWEET and maybe your charm will lead you to a DL -- good luck, any questions just ASK or even better, pm me

btw-- which dmv did you go to? what part of CA are you from? i'm from the bay area
 

yasyas

Registered Users (C)
#11
hey jack i am in the EXACT situation you are in (check my posts).
My i797 included:
my MOTHERS name
NO ALIEN number of any sort
just a letter saying they have our petition etc etc

so i was fortunate enough to get a nice clerk that gave me a permit
i DO have my DL now BUT i only have the temp. paper one (i had to wait for mine in the mail--- but of course i never received it and it will expire soon, my plan is to go to the dmv and have them renew it with a stamp or something)

just keep trying (i tried twice till someone finally allowed me)
and wil is right--- dmv clerks don't know much. so be NICE AND COURTEOUS AND SWEET and maybe your charm will lead you to a DL -- good luck, any questions just ASK or even better, pm me

btw-- which dmv did you go to? what part of CA are you from? i'm from the bay area
 

yasyas

Registered Users (C)
#12
by the way-- the confusion with the i797s is that there are SO many different kinds of it.

the one dmv is requiring (but didn't specifically note) is the one that has the i94 and alien number (though many clerks don't know that)
so keep trying and good luck!
 

Jack0381

Registered Users (C)
#13
Hey yasyas i PMed you but i thought i might as well post here in case anyone else is in the same situation.

Well im curious how you exactly went about in getting around the missing I-number. If it is something the DMV directly needs to input in creating a file for you, then i dont think simply being nice and charming would get you around it. I'm assuming you persuaded them to use the expired I-number? I actually even went with my lawyer to do that but unfortunately it didnt work.

Anyways i went to the Santa Monica DMV and i think my dad also tried one in Van Nuys. Im from the San Fernando Valley/ Northridge area. its relatively close to LA so i was thinking maybe the dmv there will be a little more lenient regarding things like this.
 

Bella Blues

Registered Users (C)
#14
Hi Jack,

I was in the same situation as you several years ago. Fortunately, I had a kind driving instructor who was willing to do anything to help me get my license, and he drove me around Los Angeles. I was able to take my actual driving test at the Arleta DMV. When I passed the actual test, I only received a temporary paper license, before it expired, we went to other DMV offices who would accept my I-797C (the one that doesn't have an alien number on it) but most of them refused. They kept saying they needed an I-797A and it has two detachable cards on the bottom (perforated) with an alien number. Anyway, whenever we heard this we would just walk out and drive on. It took a few weeks, we finally went to Topanga Canyon and they accepted my I-797 without question, they issued me an Interim License (paper) and then received my card two weeks later.
 

yasyas

Registered Users (C)
#15
hi bella blues!

i went to the dmv yesterday because my paper license was expiring.. then they said they can't do anything

then i went to another one.. and again same thing

then i went to another one.. and they stamped my paper with like a 90 grace period..

i hoope everything is good with you!
 

yasyas

Registered Users (C)
#16
**update** license with i797

I have been driving with a temporary license for a year now because my 797 will not be approved.

After my application expired I couldnt drive anymore. However, I went to a dmv and applied AGAIN. They accepted it so again, I received a temporary license. However, I received a letter in the mail saying my legal presence document is unable to process. I will go to the dmv a week before my temporary license to renew it... I hope they let me... and I hope there is not a block on my renewing for a temp license..

note: a temp license is not a picture ID.. it is just a piece of paper stating the actual card will come in the mail..
 

waren613

Registered Users (C)
#17
hey jack i am in the EXACT situation you are in (check my posts).
My i797 included:
my MOTHERS name
NO ALIEN number of any sort
just a letter saying they have our petition etc etc

so i was fortunate enough to get a nice clerk that gave me a permit
i DO have my DL now BUT i only have the temp. paper one (i had to wait for mine in the mail--- but of course i never received it and it will expire soon, my plan is to go to the dmv and have them renew it with a stamp or something)

just keep trying (i tried twice till someone finally allowed me)
and wil is right--- dmv clerks don't know much. so be NICE AND COURTEOUS AND SWEET and maybe your charm will lead you to a DL -- good luck, any questions just ASK or even better, pm me

btw-- which dmv did you go to? what part of CA are you from? i'm from the bay area

Do you have any idea why the mailing of your physical DL card is taking so long? I got mine (paper temporary DL) told to wait for the card to be mailed within 60 days...still waiting
 

wik

Registered Users (C)
#18
Slightly off-topic...

Turning the DMV into the front line for immigration enforcement is utterly stupid. DMV employees can barely process documents correctly for uncomplicated cases; hoping that they are all familiar with the nuances of immigration law or their own States policies is absurd. My wife and I endured this in 1993, and eventually received a written apology from the director of the CA DMV. Things have become so much worse since then. It's all part of what I call 'security theater', much like what the TSA does at airports. Minimum wage people with the power to mess you around, all in the name of 'protection'. Confiscation of my 80 year old mothers hair gel makes about as much sense as two different DMVs in the same state capriciously deciding to accept a certain I797 or not. It's all theater and has nothing to do with actually protecting us.

[end of rant - sorry!]
 

Bella Blues

Registered Users (C)
#19
I have been driving with a temporary license for a year now because my 797 will not be approved.

After my application expired I couldnt drive anymore. However, I went to a dmv and applied AGAIN. They accepted it so again, I received a temporary license. However, I received a letter in the mail saying my legal presence document is unable to process. I will go to the dmv a week before my temporary license to renew it... I hope they let me... and I hope there is not a block on my renewing for a temp license..

note: a temp license is not a picture ID.. it is just a piece of paper stating the actual card will come in the mail..
Hi yasyas,

Don't lose hope okay!? Keep trying and it may take a while (3 years for me) but when it happens, it will be such a relief!
 
#20
Anyone got their VA learners and drivers and you give them INS form I-797 as legal presence? I got I-797C notice of action form but it does say approved petition, and it does have A# in the top does anybody were in same situation as me? please help!
 
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