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DeepakChani

Temporary Driver License while on AoS?

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Posted (edited)

Hi All. I came to California on a K1 visa in Sept 2018. My I94 Expired in Dec 2018. I did file for AOS and have my receipt I797 letter. I took the behind the wheel test at the California DMV today and passed. They said since I do not have a legal presence in the US, I can only get a temporary driver's license which expires April 2019. I showed them the I797c letter as proof that my AOS is pending and they didn't buy it. Have others been issued a temporary driver's license while pending AOS from K1? Will I be able to renew my driver's license when it is about the expire? Please let me know. Thank you in advance. 

Edited by DeepakChani

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, DeepakChani said:

Will I be able to renew my driver's license when it is about the expire? Please let me know. Thank you in advance. 

Ask the DMV Issuing Department ((916) 657-7790) and ask them to contant DHS to verify that your AOS is pending.

Also, if you paid the DL fee in 2018, then the fee (not the DL card) should be valid until your birthday in 2023*; so no need to pay more DL fees before that date (1 exception is if you change your legal name and want it to be reflected on the DL; that requires a $27 fee).

*If the last 2 digits of the DD (Document Discriminator) code is "23":

1

Edited by vivostu

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Yes I was stunned when she said "you I94 is expired" and that I don't have legal status. I kept showing her the I797 and to no avail. She issued me a temporary one. I will call the number as ask what can they do. We're you in a similar situation? 

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, DeepakChani said:

Yes I was stunned when she said "you I94 is expired" and that I don't have legal status. I kept showing her the I797 and to no avail. She issued me a temporary one. I will call the number as ask what can they do. We're you in a similar situation? 

What was the exact wording? In your original post you said do not have "legal presence". In the quoted post above you said "legal status".

 

Your legal status ended the date your I-94 expired. You gained a period of authorized stay (a legal presence) when you filed the I-485.

Edited by geowrian

Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, geowrian said:

What was the exact wording? In your original post you said do not have "legal presence". In the quoted post above you said "legal status".

 

Your legal status ended the date your I-94 expired. You gained a period of authorized stay (a legal presence) when you filed the I-485.

It's inept California DMV field office employees. When they see an I-485 I-797C they think it's a meaningless piece of paper. I have even seen them tell individuals that recently entered with IV visas (obviously they brought their foreign passports with the CBP endorsement stamp to the DMV) that they don't have legal status! The pinnacle of incompetence.

Edited by vivostu

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So her exact words was thag I don't have a status in the US. I do know my I94 is expired and that my I797c is what proof I have of legal presence.they didn't buy it. I will try another dmv office too. Have you been successful showing the I797c for 485 and getting a full DL (not temporary) 

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I don't know about California so take everything I say with a grain of salt, but the two states I've lived in (FL and SC) do not give out permanent, or well, regular, drivers licenses to anyone that has an expiration date of any sort on their status in the US.

 

I had to fight SCDMV to accept my TN status; took several hours because I had to wait for a supervisor to get in, and she very reluctantly agreed to send it to Columbia for processing. And that was a totally legit work visa valid for three years! And I already had a FL licence valid for three years! They're not there to have a good time. 

 

I have a two year green card, and my driver's licence in SC expires on the same day as my green card. I had to get it renewed after I got my EAD since I had a lapse between TN and GC, and then it was valid for one year per the EAD

 

So at least those two DMVs go strictly by the expiration of your status. If you don't have status, which you technically don't (as mentioned, you have legal presence but no legal status), then FL gives out a 1-year license, possibly only for Canadians as I was told once. And in SC you're out of luck until you get EAD

 

This became a bit of a rant, but basically, if CA is in any way similar, you may be out of luck until you get the EAD. Have you tried calling the main CA DMV and clarifying their policy? 


Adjusting from TN to GC as spouse of USC

2015-07-24: TN received at CBP

2015-11-23: TN received at CBP - employer change

2017-06-12: Married

2017-08-15: First child

2018-06-25: Mailed I-485, I-864, I-130/I-130A, and I-765 to USCIS

2018-07-03: NOA1 for I-485, I-130, and I-765

2018-07-24: Biometrics appointment

2018-07-25: Biometrics review completed

2018-08-28: Expedite request submitted for EAD via USCIS support line

2018-08-31: Request for additional information for EAD expedite mailed by USCIS

2018-09-07: Request for additional information for EAD expedite received in the mail

2018-09-07: Additional information for EAD expedite faxed to USCIS

2018-09-10: Mailed I-131 to USCIS

2018-09-14: EAD approved

2018-09-18: EAD approval notice received in the mail 

2018-09-18: EAD card was mailed 

2018-09-20: NOA1 for I-131

2018-09-21: EAD and SSN received in the mail

2018-10-11: Case is ready to be scheduled for interview

2018-10-31: Interview is scheduled

2018-11-21: TN expired

2018-12-11: AOS Interview - approved 

2018-12-11: Card is being produced 

2018-12-13: Card was mailed 

2018-12-18: Card received in the mail

------------------

2020-12-11: Conditional green card expires 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, vivostu said:

It's inept California DMV field office employees. When they see an I-485 I-797C they think it's a meaningless piece of paper. I have even seen them tell individuals that recently entered with IV visas (obviously they brought their foreign passports with the CBP endorsement stamp to the DMV) that they don't have legal status! The pinnacle of incompetence.

Every state has a DMV that doesn't understand immigration. :P

 

But in this case, they may be right. The various lists of documents they accept that I found do not indicate that an I-485 NOA1 is sufficient for a "regular" driver's license. The NOA1 for an I-751 (ROC) is, as well as the approval notice for AOS or EOS/COS.

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/dl/dl_info#ltlp

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/realid/checklist

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/connect/0d71782a-9301-4b4a-968c-af5f670be82f/Federal_NonCompliant_dl_DocsList.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CVID=

 

Edited by geowrian

Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, geowrian said:

Every state has a DMV that doesn't understand immigration. :P

True. If they deem the I-485 receipt notice as not satisfactory proof of legal presence in the US then AB 60 is a gaping loophole: "Assembly Bill (AB) 60 (Chapter 524: Statutes of 2013) requires the department to issue an original driver license to an applicant who is unable to submit satisfactory proof of legal presence in the United States."

Edited by vivostu

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1 minute ago, vivostu said:

True. If they deem the I-485 receipt notice as not satisfactory proof of legal presence in the US then AB 60 is a gaping loophole:

On the plus side, an EAD is on the list. It's duration-limited, but better than nothing.

In some states, one has to wait for an EAD or even green card before they qualify for a DL or state ID. At least CA provides an option post-I94.


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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CA DMVs are notoriously difficult and strict, with most locations having horrendous lines and very long wait times.  When I moved here from out of state last year, it was a nightmare.  Some improvements have been made recently but not every location runs smoothly.  Ask to speak with a supervisor if the typical employee does not seem to be helping you.  They seem to have a hard time hiring competent people.  Set an appointment online to save time or plan on a full day of waiting in line for those without appointments.  According to CA law, you only have 10 days from the date of arrival to get a CA DL if you want to drive right away and already have a foreign country DL.  Non- US citizen residents who have temporary legal presence or status (i.e., resident aliens) can only get a DL that is temporarily valid until their legal presence document expires.  From the CA DMV policy:

 

All original and pending driver license (DL) or identification (ID) cards will expire on the expiration date of their Identity document issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Your Identity document must have an expiration date 30 or more days from your application date. If your Identity document has an expiration date less than 30 days, you will not be able to start a DL or ID card application.

If your Identity document has an expiration date of less than 60 days, you may complete your DL requirements (knowledge/vision/driving tests), but you will need to submit another Identity document with an expiration date of 60 days or more before your DL or ID card is mailed to you.

Before your limited term DL expires, the DMV will mail out an "extension" letter with instructions on how to complete your application for a DL extension.

 

List of acceptable forms of identification for aliens with lawful presence:

• Unexpired foreign passport with valid U.S. visa and approved I-94 form • Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card • Unexpired employment authorization document (EAD) Card (I-766) or valid/expired EAD Card with Notice of Action (I-797 C) • Unexpired Permanent Resident Card or valid/expired Permanent Resident Card with Notice of Action (I-797 C) or Approval Notice (I-797) • Unexpired foreign passport stamped “Processed for I-551”

 

DL applicants in California also need a SS Card.  The number will be verified with the SSA.

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12 hours ago, DeepakChani said:

Hi All. I came to California on a K1 visa in Sept 2018. My I94 Expired in Dec 2018. I did file for AOS and have my receipt I797 letter. I took the behind the wheel test at the California DMV today and passed. They said since I do not have a legal presence in the US, I can only get a temporary driver's license which expires April 2019. I showed them the I797c letter as proof that my AOS is pending and they didn't buy it. Have others been issued a temporary driver's license while pending AOS from K1? Will I be able to renew my driver's license when it is about the expire? Please let me know. Thank you in advance. 

I went to the DMV to take the permit test and passed. Showed EAD, marriage certificate, SSN and credit card. They took my picture, I paid the fee and that’s all. Your permit fee covers the DL when you take the road test. These documents will only be valid for the time your EAD is valid until you get a green card. If you read the approval letter it states that it doesn’t prove immigration status 🙃 but look at mine, it says temporary too in NYS

44D50878-F897-417C-BEB8-CE5754545B63.jpeg

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This will vary pretty greatly state-to-state. 

 

From what I can see from the California DMV site, and probably because of REAL ID, they won't get a DL when the I-94 is expired and before EAD arrives. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/connect/0d71782a-9301-4b4a-968c-af5f670be82f/Federal_NonCompliant_dl_DocsList.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CVID= Georgia doesn't allow DL's without the full green card (no EAD, nothing). Everyone is different. 

 

I urge EVERYONE on this thread or who has this issue to be proactive about it. Don't just take it, and if you solve the problem for yourself, please take proactive steps to help avoid this happening to others. This REAL ID thing is basically the federal government trying to get the state governments to enforce immigration law for them and they (obviously) don't understand all the nuances. 

 

K-1s are usually uniquely effected by this because they get just about the shortest authorized stay of all non-tourist non-immigrant visas. Students, temporary workers, etc, all get a long time and so their I-94 expiry doesn't bother them much. People adjusting from VWP/tourist fall into this trap too but at least they didn't expect to need to change their plans and stay so suddenly (right? :) ) so they'd expect some difficulty there. Contact your state legislator and explain the situation. Ask if there is anything that can be done in your own case and if he/she can look into writing an exception for K1 visa holders into the law. 

 

I had to go to WAR with our state's DMV. They wouldn't accept (repeatedly wouldn't accept, I went with him for his 4th visit) my husband's green card as proof of legal presence because it would expire in 13 months and we didn't have an I-797 (which  you can't apply for until 3 months before the conditional GC's expiry). NOWHERE in our state's laws or DMV literature does it say that. You better believe that someone got fired and the entire district re-trained about green cards after I was through. It is the only way to deal with this kind of BS. 


Marriage/ AOS Timeline:

23 Dec 2015: Legal marriage

23 Jan 2016: Wedding!

23 Jan 2016: "Blizzard of the Century", wedding canceled/rescheduled (thank goodness we were legally married first or we'd have had a big problem!) :sleepy:

24 Jan 2016: Small "civil ceremony" with friends and family who were snowed in with us. December was a bit of a secret and people had traveled internationally and knew we *had* to get married that weekend, and our December legal marriage was nothing but signing a piece of paper at our priest's kitchen table, without any sort of vows etc so this was actually a very special (if not legally significant) day. (L)

16 Apr 2016: Filed for AOS and EAD/AP (We delayed a bit-- no big rush, enjoying the USCIS break)

23 Apr 2016: Wedding! Finally! :luv:

27 Apr 2016: Electronic NOA1 for all 3 :dancing:
29 Apr 2016: NOA1 Hardcopy for all 3
29 Jul 2016: Online service request for late EAD (Day 104)
29 Jul 2016: EAD/AP Approved ~3 hours after online service request
04 Aug 2016: RFE for Green Card (requested medicals/ vaccination record. They already have it). :ranting:
05 Aug 2016: EAD/AP Combo Card arrived! (Day 111)
08 Aug 2016: Congressional constituent request to get guidance on the RFE. Hoping they see they have the form and approve!

K-1 Visa Timeline:

PLEASE NOTE. This timeline was during the period of time when TSC was working on I-129fs and had a huge backlog. The average processing time was 210+ days. This is in no way predictive of your own timeline if you filed during or after April 2015, unless CSC develops a backlog. A backlog is anything above the 5-month goal time listed on USCIS's site

14 Feb 2015: Mailed I-129f to Dallas Lockbox. (L) (Most expensive Valentine's card I've ever sent!)

17 Feb 2015: NOA1 "Received Date"
19 Feb 2015: NOA1 Notice Date
08 Aug 2015: NOA2 email! :luv: (173 days from NOA1)

17 Aug 2015: Sent to NVC

?? Aug 2015: Arrived at NVC

25 Aug 2015: NVC Case # Assigned

31 Aug 2015: Left NVC for Consulate in San Jose

09 Sep 2015: Consulate received :dancing: (32 days from NOA2)

11 Sep 2015: Packet 3 emailed from embassy to me, the petitioner (34 days from NOA2).

18 Sep 2015: Medicals complete

21 Sep 2015: Packet 3 complete, my boss puts a temporary moratorium on all time off due to work emergency :clock:

02 Oct 2015: Work emergency clears up, interview scheduled (soonest available was 5 business days away--Columbus Day was in there)

13 Oct 2015: Interview

13 Oct 2015: VISA APPROVED :thumbs: (236 days from NOA1)

19 Oct 2015: Visa-in-hand

24 Oct 2015: POE !

15 Dec 2015: Fiance's mother's B-2 visa interview: APPROVED! So happy she will be at the wedding! :thumbs:

!

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, geowrian said:

Every state has a DMV that doesn't understand immigration. :P

 

But in this case, they may be right. The various lists of documents they accept that I found do not indicate that an I-485 NOA1 is sufficient for a "regular" driver's license. The NOA1 for an I-751 (ROC) is, as well as the approval notice for AOS or EOS/COS.

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/dl/dl_info#ltlp

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/realid/checklist

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/connect/0d71782a-9301-4b4a-968c-af5f670be82f/Federal_NonCompliant_dl_DocsList.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CVID=

 

 

16 hours ago, DeepakChani said:

Hi All. I came to California on a K1 visa in Sept 2018. My I94 Expired in Dec 2018. I did file for AOS and have my receipt I797 letter. I took the behind the wheel test at the California DMV today and passed. They said since I do not have a legal presence in the US, I can only get a temporary driver's license which expires April 2019. I showed them the I797c letter as proof that my AOS is pending and they didn't buy it. Have others been issued a temporary driver's license while pending AOS from K1? Will I be able to renew my driver's license when it is about the expire? Please let me know. Thank you in advance. 

Geowrian is correct
California does NOT allow you to use an NOA1 for proof for residency. I played that dance with them many times.
U certainly can use it to get a permit but they don't give a "regular" license without permanent residency document such as EAD or GC.


So I suppose your only choice is to wait till EAD
Then go back and they should be able to renew it for the full year that the EAD is valid

Edited by emekus94

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, DeepakChani said:

Yes I was stunned when she said "you I94 is expired" and that I don't have legal status. I kept showing her the I797 and to no avail. She issued me a temporary one. I will call the number as ask what can they do. We're you in a similar situation? 

An EAD card would be the next document that would demonstrate that you have legal status.

Texas wouldnt issue a license at all, temp or otherwise, without at least a year on the I-94 or an EAD card or a green card in hand.  K1 is still considered non-immigrant status.  The states have been standardizing requirements and it seems that Ca has similar rules.

Edited by Nitas_man

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