Billings, MT asked in Immigration Law and Gov & Administrative Law for Montana

Q: What other documents can I use to show to get my drivers permit?

My green card was stolen years ago and got a new one filed more than a year ago and still haven’t received it. I’ve tried to get my permit multiple times but I was told that I couldn’t because I didn’t have a green card though I have proof of it. What do I do?

I cannot simply wait for my green card because of how long they take. I am desperate to get my drivers license ASAP.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: To apply for a driver's permit without your physical green card, consider using alternative documents that prove your legal status in the U.S. Typically, a state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) accepts various forms of identification and legal status documentation.

You can use the I-797 Notice of Action, which you received when you filed for a replacement green card. This notice indicates that you have an application pending with USCIS and serves as proof of your legal status. Along with this, provide a photo ID, such as a passport or a state ID, if you have one.

Another option is to obtain a temporary I-551 stamp in your passport. This stamp serves as temporary proof of lawful permanent residency. You can get this stamp by scheduling an appointment with your local USCIS office.

Also, consider bringing any other documents that verify your identity and legal status in the U.S., like a Social Security card or a birth certificate, if available.

If you face difficulties at the DMV, politely request to speak with a supervisor who might be more familiar with alternative forms of documentation for lawful status.

It's also advisable to check the specific requirements of the DMV in your state, as these can vary. If necessary, consider consulting with an immigration attorney or a legal aid organization for further guidance and assistance with your situation. They can provide advice on how to proceed and might help expedite the process of obtaining your replacement green card.

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