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drewhimself

Not Allowed to Renew My North Carolina Driver's License whilst AOS Pending

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Filed: Timeline

All

Having married my American wife 8 weeks ago, my green card paperwork has all been filed and I have received the notice of action. I was previously on an F-1 visa which expires on the 31 August this year. Because of this, my North Carolina driver's license also expires at the end of this month. After taking a trip to the driver's license office and a couple of calls the the NC DMV, I have been told that without any paperwork showing 'legal presence' with an expiration date on it I am not allowed to renew my license. I am also not even allowed to get an NC Identification card for the same reason. Luckily I can drive using my valid United Kingdom license (I confirmed this with the DMV and my insurance company) but am without any valid documents proving my age and address. I am going to have to use my passport to prove I am over 21, but as we all know, that is far from an ideal situation.

It just seems very bizarre that the US government says I cannot leave the country until my case has been processed but the state of North Carolina says they don't recognize me as being a legal alien and cannot issue me with any identification in the meantime. Talk about a vicious circle!

Has anyone else encountered this problem? Is there any advice out there or do I just have to deal with it until I receive my green card/I-551 stamp?

Regards, Andrew

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All

Having married my American wife 8 weeks ago, my green card paperwork has all been filed and I have received the notice of action. I was previously on an F-1 visa which expires on the 31 August this year. Because of this, my North Carolina driver's license also expires at the end of this month. After taking a trip to the driver's license office and a couple of calls the the NC DMV, I have been told that without any paperwork showing 'legal presence' with an expiration date on it I am not allowed to renew my license. I am also not even allowed to get an NC Identification card for the same reason. Luckily I can drive using my valid United Kingdom license (I confirmed this with the DMV and my insurance company) but am without any valid documents proving my age and address. I am going to have to use my passport to prove I am over 21, but as we all know, that is far from an ideal situation.

It just seems very bizarre that the US government says I cannot leave the country until my case has been processed but the state of North Carolina says they don't recognize me as being a legal alien and cannot issue me with any identification in the meantime. Talk about a vicious circle!

Has anyone else encountered this problem? Is there any advice out there or do I just have to deal with it until I receive my green card/I-551 stamp?

Regards, Andrew

Does your license actually "expire" on that date? I am in the same situation (but in NY state). Mine is marked in big red letters: TEMP VISITOR EXP: xx/xx/xx. The actual license-- small writing on the bottom, expires on my birthday, in 2012. So I figure it is legal to drive with and use as ID. If I am stopped I can show my notice of action and that I am indeed legally here, taking care of the temp. visitor part of things.


07/01/2010 - I-485, I-765 and I-130 sent to Chicago lock box
07/03/2010 - package signed for in Chicago
07/12/2010 - text and email notification received
07/17/2010 - hard copy NOA1s received in mail
07/19/2010 - received biometrics letter (scheduled for August 12th)
07/22/2010 - unsuccessful walk-in biometrics in Brooklyn
07/28/2010 - successful walk-in biometrics in Brooklyn
08/24/2010 - EAD card approved (54 DAYS)
08/31/2010 - I-765 touched, post decision activity, email notification of EAD approval
09/01/2010 - I-765 touched
09/03/2010 - EAD card received
09/21/2010 - Interview Date! 9:45 am. APPROVED (83 DAYS). I-551 Stamp.
09/21/2010 - Card/ Document Production
09/29/2010 - Welcome letter received
10/01/2010 - Green Card Received!!! Exactly 3 months smile.png

08/18/2012 - ROC filed (Vermont)
09/04/2012 - NOA date
10/12/2012 - Bio appointment
05/02/2013 - RFE
07/15/2013 - ROC Interview at local (New York City) office, told we would be notified of decision by mail in 60 days
08/02/2013- Case status updated, production of new card ordered!
08/05/2013- InfoPass appointment at Holtsville Long Island, passport stamped with I-551
08/06/2013- Card mailed
08/08/2013- 10 year green card received!!! 10 days short of one year from applicationdancin5hr.gif

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Filed: Timeline

Yeah, it does actually expire on August 31. I used to have a MD license that didn't expire until 2012 or something, but when I moved to NC I had to get a new license, and here they base the expiration date around the visa expiration.

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Yeah, it does actually expire on August 31. I used to have a MD license that didn't expire until 2012 or something, but when I moved to NC I had to get a new license, and here they base the expiration date around the visa expiration.

sorry to hear that!!! well, you can use your UK one for ID, age etc though. i used my Canadian one for 3 years for that purpose.


07/01/2010 - I-485, I-765 and I-130 sent to Chicago lock box
07/03/2010 - package signed for in Chicago
07/12/2010 - text and email notification received
07/17/2010 - hard copy NOA1s received in mail
07/19/2010 - received biometrics letter (scheduled for August 12th)
07/22/2010 - unsuccessful walk-in biometrics in Brooklyn
07/28/2010 - successful walk-in biometrics in Brooklyn
08/24/2010 - EAD card approved (54 DAYS)
08/31/2010 - I-765 touched, post decision activity, email notification of EAD approval
09/01/2010 - I-765 touched
09/03/2010 - EAD card received
09/21/2010 - Interview Date! 9:45 am. APPROVED (83 DAYS). I-551 Stamp.
09/21/2010 - Card/ Document Production
09/29/2010 - Welcome letter received
10/01/2010 - Green Card Received!!! Exactly 3 months smile.png

08/18/2012 - ROC filed (Vermont)
09/04/2012 - NOA date
10/12/2012 - Bio appointment
05/02/2013 - RFE
07/15/2013 - ROC Interview at local (New York City) office, told we would be notified of decision by mail in 60 days
08/02/2013- Case status updated, production of new card ordered!
08/05/2013- InfoPass appointment at Holtsville Long Island, passport stamped with I-551
08/06/2013- Card mailed
08/08/2013- 10 year green card received!!! 10 days short of one year from applicationdancin5hr.gif

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Australia
Timeline

Everyone goes through this and you just have to "deal with it" as you said.

A piece of advice though,check your state requirements for a licence. There was a story about a guy in your situation in california, who was pulled over driving on his Canadian licence (he ran a pedestrian crossing or something like that) and he admitted he was living in California with his wife and had been for months. California law states he need a California licence after residing in California for 10 days. He said he was waiting on AOS, still, he admitted he LIVED in California that means he's a resident of CA, which means he can ONLY drive on his CA licence (but he couldn't get one.. just like you). He had to go to court, paid a $3K fine and something else i think.

Moral of the story, you're a VISITOR until you get your greencard. Until the US says you're a LPR, you're just visiting, and therefore allowed to drive on your foreign licence. It sucks but it's better than a fine :S

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Filed: Timeline

Everyone goes through this and you just have to "deal with it" as you said.

A piece of advice though,check your state requirements for a licence. There was a story about a guy in your situation in california, who was pulled over driving on his Canadian licence (he ran a pedestrian crossing or something like that) and he admitted he was living in California with his wife and had been for months. California law states he need a California licence after residing in California for 10 days. He said he was waiting on AOS, still, he admitted he LIVED in California that means he's a resident of CA, which means he can ONLY drive on his CA licence (but he couldn't get one.. just like you). He had to go to court, paid a $3K fine and something else i think.

Moral of the story, you're a VISITOR until you get your greencard. Until the US says you're a LPR, you're just visiting, and therefore allowed to drive on your foreign licence. It sucks but it's better than a fine :S

I see, so basically you're saying should I ever get pulled over I say I am just a visitor waiting for my AOS as opposed to I actually 'live' in NC and am waiting for my AOS.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Romania
Timeline

wait until you get your EAD and then you will be eligible to apply for your DL. EAD processing times are 3 months, but tipically it arrives sooner than that.


My N-400 Journey

06-02-2017 - N-400 package mailed to Dallas Lockbox

06-06-2017 - Credit card charged; received text and email confirming that application was received and NOA is on its way

06-10-2017 - Received NOA letter from NBC dated 06-05-2017

06-16-2017 - Received Biometrics Appointment Letter for 06-28-2017

01-19-2018 - Interview Letter sent

02-27-18 - Interview and Oath Ceremony. Finally US CITIZEN! 

My ROC Journey

03-08-2012 - I-751 package mailed to VSC

03-10-2012 - I-751 package delivered

03-14-2012 - Check cashed

03-15-2012 - NOA received, dated 03-12-2012

04-27-2012 - Biometrics appointment

11-23-2012 - ROC approved

11-28-2012 - Approval letter received

12-06-2012 - 10 years Green Card received

My AOS Journey

04-17-09 I-130&I-485&I-765 received by USCIS

04-19-10 AOS Approved

04-29-10 Green Card received

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Australia
Timeline
I see, so basically you're saying should I ever get pulled over I say I am just a visitor waiting for my AOS as opposed to I actually 'live' in NC and am waiting for my AOS.

Well.. it depends on your state laws and whether your visa has expired yet or not. If your visa has expired then you HAVE to mention AOS otherwise you have no reason to be there... though the police can't arrest you for that... I think.

If your visa HASN'T expired I would just say you're a tourist staying with your spouse at X. Something like that... at least till you get your EAD and are thus able to get your DL renewed.

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I wish there was a solution for this. I too am in the same situation. OPT work permit ends next month and the same date is reflected on my license. I live in MD. Guess i just have to hop that no police officer will stop me while waiting. But three months without a license is a LONGGGGGGGGG time.


08/26/2010 - Married

11/02/2010 - AOS Packet (485, 130, 765) sent to Chicago lockbox

11/05/2010-Received in Chicago

11/15/2010- Received 3 hard copies NOA1 (485, 130, 765) dated 11/09/2010

12/6/2010- Received RFE to prove we meet the 125% of the poverty line. (Currently waiting to file taxes and send this information in.)

12/25/2010- Received Biometrics letter dated 12.21.2010 for Appt 1/18/2011

1/6/2011- Successful Walk-In Biometrics

2/17/2011- Responded to RFE

3/10/2011- Received email that Work Permit card production has been ordered

3/14/2011- Interview notice for April 19th received(Mailed march 11)

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Most states enacted these rules concerning immigrants because of terrorism.

Ohio enacted it in 2002 to verify an applicant's legal presence in the United States - based on USCIS documents.

They will only give you A Non-renewable/Non-transferable identification card or driver license is issued with the same expiration date that appears on the appropriate document issued by the USCIS and will not exceed four (4) years. A non-renewable/non-transferable driver license allows individuals to drive in Ohio and other states, but it cannot be renewed or transferred to another state.


My Advice is usually based on "Worst Case Scenario" and what is written in the rules/laws/instructions. That is the way I roll... -Protect your Status - file before your I-94 expires.

WARNING: Phrases in this post may sound meaner than they were intended to be. Read the Adjudicator's Field Manual from USCIS

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Germany
Timeline

This addresses a different question but is related: the fear of being pulled over without a U.S. license while awaiting AOS.

We live in NC, and did get pulled over just before filing for AOS -- he was driving on a German license. The cop let us go without a citation, but told us to go to the DMV the next day to get a "permit". Suspecting future bureaucracy, I called the DMV instead and was told that one is supposed to get an International driving permit before leaving one's home country -- once you're in the states, you're out of luck. It is legal to drive with a license from your home country, but forwned upon...and the DMV won't issue a license without a social security number. Basically, it's a lose-lose. Though not illegal, the cops do have the right to fine you for traffic violations. In our case, telling the truth helped -- we just said that our AOS is pending...and my driving record is 100% clean, and neither of us had been drinking. Plus we were just speeding slightly, on an empty road in the middle of the night, and I suspect they just wanted to be suire we weren't drinking. Just be prepared to speak intelligently if you are pulled over, do not drive after drinking at all (a general rule everyone should follow), and be as polite as possible, and they'll likely let it go. :)

Edited by missing_ron

June 1997 - Met at summer camp; became friends over the next two years but lost touch

August 2007 - Ron finds Jody on Facebook and relationship begins

September 2007 - Ron visits Jody in US

October 2007 - Ron visits Jody in US on and off for 9 months

July 17, 2008 - Ron returns to Germany

August 20, 2009 - Jody visited Ron in Germany for 10 days after 13 months apart!

May 15, 2010 - Ron visited Jody on VWP

Legally married - May 20, 2010 (after 13 years, couldn't stand being apart anymore!)

AOS postmarked - August 17, 2010

AOS NOA1 - August 25, 2010

AOS interview (rescheduled from Jan. due to winter storm closing) - March 17, 2001 - APPROVED!!!

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