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Friday, March 22 , 2019, 5:57 am | Fair 44º


DMV Opens Second Lompoc Office to Help Issue Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Immigrants

Under new state law, as many as 1.4 million licenses expected to be provided to previously ineligible drivers

A second Department of Motor Vehicles office is now open in Lompoc in anticipation of the start of a new law allowing illegal immigrants to obtain California driver’s licenses.

The new Lompoc site at 1601 North H St. is one of four temporary driver’s license processing centers the state opened to meet the needs of Assembly Bill 60, which takes effect Jan. 2. Signs outside this office, which opened Monday, note only driver’s license transactions can be handled there.

Lompoc’​s DMV field office remains open at 209 W. Pine Ave., and can deal with the full range of DMV services. Other field offices in Santa Barbara County are located in Goleta, Santa Barbara and Santa Maria.

In October 2013, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 60 into law. The bill, by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, requires the DMV to issue driver’s licenses to individuals who can prove identity and California residence plus meet all other licensing requirements, such as passing the driver license knowledge test and behind-the-wheel driving exams.

In anticipation of the new flood of customers, DMV officials recently announced the extension of office hours and added appointment opportunities to support the issuance of original driver’s licenses, including those under AB 60.

“DMV is committed to providing excellent customer service to all Californians,” said Jean Shiomoto, DMV director. “Customers with appointments have much shorter wait times, and now all customers seeking new driver licenses will have extra appointment opportunities.”

The state agency anticipates processing approximately 1.4 million additional driver license applications during the first three years after implementation of AB 60.

Some of the additional services the DMV will be offering include extended Saturday office hours by appointment for all new driver’s license applicants at up to 60 DMV field offices. These include the Lompoc driver’s license processing facility plus the DMV field offices in San Luis Obispo, Oxnard and Ventura. Their Saturday hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., starting Jan. 3.

New driver’s license applicants will be able to schedule appointments with the DMV up to 90 days in advance, double the current 45-day window.

Starting Dec. 1, all first-time driver’s license applicants must make an appointment to visit their local DMV office.

However, four new driver license processing centers will continue to offer walk-in (and appointment) service. In addition to Lompoc, those new DMV offices are in Granada Hills, San Jose and Stanton. Appointments are recommended.

These additional services will be available to all customers seeking a first-time driver’s license, whether under AB 60 or otherwise.

Customers applying for an original driver’s license will need to provide a Social Security number, proof of identity and legal presence in the state or proof of identity and California residency under AB 60.

The DMV recently posted the list of documents that applicants must bring to the DMV to obtain a new driver’s license under AB 60.

People should be prepared to take the driver’s license exam, complete the application form, pass a vision test and, when applicable, a road sign test. Additionally, customers must give a thumb print, have a picture taken and schedule a future appointment for the behind-the-wheel driving test.

Applicants under 18 applying for an original driver’s license will also need to submit proof they’ve completed driver’s education.

Those issued a driver's license under AB 60 or people under age 21 will receive a vertical card, while others will continue to receive the tradition horizontal card, DMV officials said.

Click here for more information about the DMV or to make an appointment, or call 1.800.777.0133.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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