I am a K-1 visa entrant currently in the process of AOS. I applied for the AB 60 license in order to not wait for green card or EAD given the wait times for that documentation.
FYI: the AB 60 is NOT exclusively for illegal immigrants. It is most definitely for those of us who are pending status.
This is an outline of my experience, I thought it may be helpful for others.
Wednesday, August 14th:
· DMV appointment in Pasadena
· Filled out application online
· Offered my unexpired passport, utility bill, and certified copy of marriage certificate (as name change doc)
· I-94 due to expire about 35 days from appointment date. I showed it to one person, no one else asked.
· No one wanted to see my Canadian Driver License
Took vision test and written test during initial appointment. It was explained to me that my documents needed to go to secondary review, which they told me is standard. I was told to call the DMV at a specific phone number in 5 business days, in order to set the review in motion. I was told the review takes a few weeks, and that they would then mail me the learner’s permit and I would be able to book a behind the wheel test.
Monday, August 19th:
· Got impatient and phoned the secondary review number after 3 business days rather than waiting the full 5 days
· The investigator I spoke to was doubtful he would have my application so soon after my DMV appointment, but he did have it
· He reviewed the documents I had submitted, and then put me on hold for 15-20 minutes as he processed the application
· He then told me my application was being sent to LA County from Sacramento for the actual secondary review and that I would receive a letter in the mail within 30 days with an interview date, time and location in order to verify my documents.
Monday, September 9th:
· Received appointment letter in the mail stating that my interview was scheduled for Sept 19th in Mission Hills. 10 days away. Not such a long wait after all
· The letter listed the documentation that I was required to bring to the interview, the list was verbatim was is listed on the DMV website for what to bring in order to apply for AB 60 license
Thursday, September 19th:
· Showed up 25 minutes early for my interview in Mission Hills. It was not at a regular DMV, but in a DMV Investigative office. No one else was in the waiting room
· The sergeant came out to the waiting room and requested the original and certified copies of the residency and identification documents I had brought with me. She took: Social Security Card, Passport, I-485 NOA1, Marriage Certificate, & utility bill with both my name and my husband’s on it. She took the documents and left me in the waiting room
· A few minutes later, she came back and invited me into the interview room. She returned my original docs and proceeded to ask me questions.
o Have you ever been charged with driving without a license
o What is your full name
o What is your birth date
o What is your address
o What is your phone number
· She told me she was going to send my file back to Sacramento and to expect two letters in the mail
o In 2-3 weeks a letter from the investigative unit stating they have completed their investigation
o In 4-6 weeks, a letter from Sacremento with my learner’s permit in it
· She told me I could attempt to book my behind-the-wheel test before the permit arrives in the mail. Once I’m in the system, that should be possible
Monday, October 28th,
· Received a letter from Sacramento Investigations Division saying I am approved to continue the application process and have made it through secondary review. I am to make an appointment with my local DMV to continue the process. No learner’s permit was in the envelope. I had been told by TWO different people that it would be in the mail.
· Went online to make an office appointment. The soonest I could find was about a 2 hour 40 minute drive from my Los Angeles home on November 4th. In one week. All the local DMVs were end of January for the 1st available appointment.
· I phoned the DMV to find out exactly what completing the process means, and what steps I can take to expedite the process. Yanette, the agent I spoke with, was very helpful and even booked my road test for me while I was on the phone. She was able to book it the same day as my office appointment but an hour later so I can walk from the permit counter right to the behind the wheel counter. Let’s hope that works.
October 30th, 2019
· AOS Interview today. Approved. Should have the green card in a week. At this rate I could’ve just gotten the REAL ID license. BUT, that would’ve expired with the 2-year green card. The AB 60 is supposedly good for 5 years, so potentially I could keep it until I gain citizenship. I’m not sure of the ramifications of that though, if there are any.
· 2nd letter from the DMV arrived today. The one that was supposed to arrive 2-3 weeks after my appointment with the sergeant. It told me to expect a letter from Sacramento – which I’d already received days earlier.
November 4, 2019
· My office appointment at the Lake Isabella DMV was scheduled for 14:40. We arrived in town at 12pm, and I went in to the DMV to see if I could squeeze in a bit earlier. I was the only person in line and managed to complete my office appointment less than 10 minutes from the time I walked in. I didn’t have to give them any ID, just my receipt from my initial appointment, but I did have everything with me, including the letter from DMV Investigation unit stating that my secondary review was complete and my documents were approved.
· The agent told me that unfortunately, he couldn’t bump up the behind the wheel test and I’d have to wait until the 1540 scheduled appointment. No problem!
· Went back at 1530 for the behind the wheel test. It was a quick drive around Lake Isabella, and I passed. The Examiner was VERY kind and made me feel totally at ease. They gave me an Interim C license to use until my real license arrives in the mail. The interim license expires on January 2, 2020.
From first appointment to secondary review to licensed driver, I waited 82 days. My AOS was approved incredibly quickly for the LA office. I would recommend the AB 60 even though I ended up getting it the same time as the green card. If I hadn't gone through secondary review, which doesn't always happen, I would've been driving since august. ALSO: The drive to Lake Isabella was totally worth it.