San Francisco, California - Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued a consumer alert to Californians about possible scams targeting immigrants and their families.
Under a new California law, Assembly Bill 60 (AB 60), California residents will be eligible to get a driver license regardless of their immigration status. This law takes effect on January 1, 2015. In preparation for AB 60, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has hired additional employees, held department-wide training, and is opening new, temporary offices to handle extra driver license appointments.
Individuals 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.
When major changes to laws affecting immigrants are passed, con artists often emerge to prey on vulnerable consumers. This consumer alert will give you tips on how to avoid and report driver license scams.
Do not pay anyone to complete your driver license application:
The Attorney General recommends that you complete your driver license application alone or with the help of trusted family or friends. The process is simple and the DMV provides free resources to guide you. You should not pay anyone to help you complete driver license documents!
Beginning January 1, 2015, it will be illegal for anyone to accept money solely for completing a driver license application for another person. Be wary of anyone who says they have “connections” with the DMV. They are likely lying; no one can speed up the process of getting a driver license for you!
Driver license examinations are available in many languages and can be given orally by a DMV employee on request. If you need an interpreter, call 1-800-777-0133 and indicate that foreign language assistance is needed. Do not pay anyone who offers to translate documents for you; the DMV offers free translation services!
The cost for completing the application for a Class C (most cars) or Class M (motorcycles and scooters) license is $33. A driver license under AB 60 is the same price as other licenses. Only pay this fee to the DMV directly; any payment to someone else is likely a scam.
For a sample driver license application, visit: https://apps.dmv.ca.gov/teenweb/permit_btn1/dl44sample.pdf. However, your application (Form DL 44) must be completed at the DMV.
California Driver Handbooks and sample driver license examinations are available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Punjabi, Russian Tagalog, and Vietnamese. For a copy of the California Driver Handbook and sample driver license examinations in any of these languages, visit: http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/ab60/#handbooks.
To schedule a visit to the DMV, visit https://www.dmv.ca.gov/foa/clear.do?goTo=officeVisit.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF A SCAM:
The California Department of Justice, in its role as the state’s enforcer of consumer protection, collects complaints on scams in order to detect patterns of wrongdoing. By submitting a complaint, you are contributing to California’s ability to investigate and prosecute known offenders and stop scammers from victimizing others. To file a complaint with our office, use one of the following complaint forms: