The Virginia Governor’s Office Replies

Commonwealth of Virginia
Commonwealth of Virginia

We have just received a written response from the Governor’s office regarding my complaint with the Dale City DMV.

Once again, the response is a long-winded acknowledgment of nothing.

Here is the transcript of the Governor’s response:

Dear Mr. Charest:

Governor Kaine has asked me to thank you for and respond to your letter regarding the difficulties your wife is experiencing in obtaining sufficient documentation to apply for your Virginia driver’s license.

To apply for a driver’s license or learner’s permit, individuals must provide two proofs of their identity, one proof of their social security number (SSN) if they have been issued an SSN, and proof of their Virginia residency. Effective January 1, 2004, individuals also have to provide proof of their legal presence in the United States.

The Department of Motor Vehicles is working hard to ensure that individuals obtaining driver’s licenses, learner’s permits, and identification cards are in fact who they purport to be. As a result, the requirements to obtain a license have become more stringent. The agency realizes, however, that there are a number of individuals who are not able to provide the documents required in accordance with the listing of acceptable documents. For this reason, DMV has developed an exception process by which an individual’s documents can be reviewed and verified.

I understand Ms. Tracey Griffiths with DMV has contacted you and your wife and requested that you fax your wife’s documentation to her. Ms. Griffith’s has received, reviewed, and approved the documentation. An approval letter was issued and mailed to your wife on December 27, 2006. You should have received the letter by the time you receive this correspondence.

If you have additional questions or concerns, I encourage you to contact Ms. Griffiths at:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Attention: Ms. Tracey Griffiths
Post Office Box 27412
Richmond, Virginia 23269-0001
Phone Number: (804) 367-6774

I hope this information is helpful. Again, thank you for writing Governor Kaine.

Pierce R. Homer

Copy: Mr. D. B. Smit, Commissioner
Department of Motor Vehicles

The .pdf scan may be seen here.

Letter From Virginia Gov Kaine to Weifang Charest on Documentation for Gaining Virginia Driver's License (506 downloads )

This letter does not directly acknowledge the refusal of the DMV to recognize our marriage documents. It does not address the issue of Winnie’s immigration status, also questioned by the DMV. The way this letter is written implies that we had failed to provide adequate proof of Winnie’s identity. In fact, this letter implies we were not able to even provide adequate proof of Winnie’s identity until Ms Griffiths became involved.

This letter also implies that Ms Grittiths needed to contact us to provide the necessary documents, even though all the documents Ms Grittiths needed were included with the package I sent to the DMV, twice.

The reality of course, is that we provided more than the minimum documentation Mr. Homer describes. On the fifth visit to the DMV, Winnie in fact provided her SSN card, Mississippi Picture ID/Driver’s license, passport and Military Dependents Picture ID. Her passport included her entry stamp and alien regitration number.

On her fifth visit the DMV also required Winnie to provide her work permit, birth certificate, and marriage license, even though Mr. Homer implies here that these were not required or requested.

It seems this second non-response response is the most we’ll get. I do have the satisfaction of knowing that the DMV was pushed to respond in five working days over the Christmas holiday season, after failing to respond at all to my first letter.

As my personal commentary, this incident is an example of what our country has degraded to. A legal resident of the United States of America (who’s spouse has worked for 3+ years with no end in sight to even gain her immigration status) is forced to appeal to the state govenor just to have her valid driver’s license changed over, simply because she was not actually born in this country.

For a nation that has custody of the Statue of Liberty, a nation that takes pride in being a “Nation of Immigrants,” this is truely a sorry spectacle.

We’ll see whether or not we actually made an impact on the local DMV office this Saturday, when Winnie and I go back for the sixth time to gain her driver’s license and proof of state residency.

Related Posts

Some Thoughts On Immigration : Some of my thoughts on immigration as and American with four immigrant grandparents.
Going Nuclear on the Virginia DMV : Another in my series of fights with the Virginia (Dale City) DMV on gaining Winnie’s driver’s license.
Look Into The Mirror : A letter to the editor of my local newspaper on who is at fault for “illegal immigration.”

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