Law alters vehicle license processs

Published 8:11 am Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A federal judge’s decision last week that left Alabama’s strict new immigration law largely intact is having an immediate impact on Pike County citizens who are registering new vehicles, applying for licenses and purchasing vehicle tags.

Pike County Probate Judge Wes Allen said the new immigration law requires any person who is entering into a business transaction with the state or political subdivision to demonstrate United States citizenship.

“This can be done by showing one’s driver’s license, passport or birth certificate,” Allen said. “And, it does not have to be the original passport or birth certificate. It can be a copy.”

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When the new immigration law went into effect on Thursday, the Pike County Probate Office was prepared to do what had to be done to comply with the law, as Allen had said that it would be.

“It really wasn’t as bad as we thought,” Allen said. “The only difference that the new immigration law made was that it added a minute or two to each transaction. The biggest impact was on car tags.”

Each individual purchasing a tag must present their driver’s license and expiration date and the clerks punch the information into the ALVerify system. The site then checks the information against the Alabama Department of Public Safety’s driver’s license database to verify the information, and returns a confirmation number if the information exists in the database. “There were a few little glitches as it is with anything,” Allen said. “The biggest was when two names were on the vehicle registration or when a wife wanted to purchase a tag for her husband’s vehicle or vice versa.”

In both cases, the driver’s license number and expiration date for both parties had to be provided.

“Both individuals don’t have to be present but we do have to have both driver’s license numbers and the expiration dates,” Allen said. “These numbers and dates will be verified and attached to the registration.”

Another glitch has been when a woman has changed her name through marriage or divorce.

“If the name is not the same as on the registration form, then that makes the process more time consuming,” Allen said. “But we have been able to work through any problems that we’ve had.”

Sole owner businesses and partnerships must show the identification requirements set by the new immigration law but corporations, LLCs and LLPs are exempt.

Allen said the new immigration law is a learning curve and the probate office is doing all that it can to handle the new regulations as efficiently as possible.

“We do want to educate people about the option to purchase their vehicle tags by mail,” he said. “It’s a simple process. The probate office sends notification by mail. All that has to be done is send a check by return mail and make sure to include your driver’s license number and the expiration date. We’ll verify it and mail the tag sticker back to you. The mail-in option saves time and gas and gas isn’t cheap.”

Allen said everyone is invited to visit the probate office website at