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  1. #1
    Senior Member florgal's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
    North Carolina

    ME:License renewals to allow use of old licenses as proof of

    License renewals to allow use of old licenses as proof of residency
    AUGUSTA — The Bureau of Motor Vehicles is now allowing people to renew their driver's license using their old license, if it has a Maine address on it, to reduce delays that have occurred since a new law went into effect last month requiring applicants to prove they live in the state.

    Those without an existing Maine license must still bring proof of residency with them to the bureau.

    An act requiring a person to be a Maine resident in order to get a Maine driver's license passed with bipartisan support in April, but didn't get much attention because of the more controversial debate over the state's compliance with the federal REAL ID Act. Now the state is trying to make the law work.

    "We're trying to work a little common sense," into the process, said Secretary of State Matt Dunlap. "The intent of the law was to make sure that people getting a license for the first time were in fact Maine residents."

    The biggest problem, he said, is people are showing up without the proper documentation and, "we have to send them away."

    Dunlap estimated wait times at Bureau of Motor Vehicle windows have increased on average between 5 and 10 percent, although longer waits have occurred at the state's larger bureaus. The longest delay reported to him has been two hours.

    The law was passed in response to federal agents cracking down on out-of-state immigrants, who were coming to Maine to get a driver's license because the state's rules were so lax. People only had to show they could pass a driver's test, but not prove they lived in Maine.

    The fear was that illegal aliens were coming to Maine to get a license so they could then swap it for a license in their state of residence and use it there as a form of identification. Under state reciprocity laws, it is easier to get a license in this country if you can show you already have one.

    In one instance, an immigrant living in Boston came to Maine to get a license and then used it as identification to buy a gun, which he later used in a bank robbery in Bangor.

    The Legislature responded by passing a new law requiring a driver's license applicant to show proof of a Maine home address.

    Laws on the books
    That new law is separate from the law passed at the end of the session that will require the state to check for legal immigration status to the United States as part of the federal REAL ID program. All driver's license applicants could be asked to bring proof of their legal status, like a birth certificate or some other government-issued document. Dunlap has until Dec. 15 to get a legal immigration status check in place. The new law is being challenged by a people's veto signature drive organized by those who think it violates civil rights. If that campaign is successful, repeal of the law will appear on the November ballot.

    Dunlap said the residency law that went into effect in mid-April created more delays than expected. The decision to allow people renewing their license to use their old one with an address on it as proof of residency should help, he said.

    Residents holding a license with their address on it can also now go back to using on-line renewal, which had been suspended after the law was passed.

    Dunlap said his office is planning a public outreach campaign to make sure everybody knows about the new law.

    That law requires applicants to bring with them to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles a proof of residency.

    Acceptable proof includes: Recent Maine driver's license with a physical address on it; tax return; paycheck stub; utility bill; document issued by a government entity; Maine vehicle registration; W-2; tax bill; conditional order of registration; Maine resident hunting or fishing license; and, a contract in the person's name such as a mortgage, lease or insurance policy.

    Exemptions are allowed for persons who can prove they are on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces; the spouse or child of an active Armed Forces member; or, a student enrolled in a university, college or school within Maine.

    Applicants need to show some documentation like a military ID; military service location papers; military dependent ID card; college ID; or a certified school record/transcript.

    Those who have no documents proving they live in Maine, like people living in shelters, can get affidavits from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles that must be signed by two people, who have a personal or professional relationship with the applicant and know the person is living in Maine.

    If the applicant is a minor, only one signature is needed if it is from a parent or guardian.

    Dunlap is also working longer term on a problem that causes delays once every six years, dating back to the time when the state switched from four-year to six-year licenses. That blip added to the wait times several years ago.

    Dunlap is experimenting with issuing licenses on a staggered basis, with some people getting licenses good for four, five, six, seven or eight years for a pro-rated fee to help stagger the renewal load on the department. ... endocument

  2. #2
    Senior Member jp_48504's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    Kind of bypasses Real ID.....
    I stay current on Americans for Legal Immigration PAC's fight to Secure Our Border and Send Illegals Home via E-mail Alerts (CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP)

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