Immigration Law causes headaches at Alabama tag offices - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Immigration Law causes headaches at Alabama tag offices

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email 

RUSSELL COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - The new Alabama immigration law is creating long lines and extended waits at tag offices all over the state.

The beginning and end of each month is already a busy time at the motor vehicle office because drivers often wait to renew their car tags, but when you factor in an added step to the process, and the fact that every citizen now has to be verified as a legal resident, it just makes the wait time even longer.

"With the new Immigration Law we are having to go one step further and check the immigration status," explained Russell County Motor Vehicle Commissioner Paulette Colbert.

It's not just immigrants or illegal aliens that are being checked through this new procedure, but every Alabama resident has to go through the new verification process.

"The Immigration Law is to ensure everyone who is doing a business transaction, and the law specifies motor vehicle registration and renewals are business transactions, that they are legally in the United States and this is why we are having to verify that," Colbert told News Leader Nine.

She says residents are required to show license information for every driver that is listed on the car registration, "As long as you have an Alabama driver's license, we are able to verify through the ALVerify System that the state has implemented, that has been a very big help to us but we are having to do that manually, key in all the driver's license information at this point."

Colbert says inputting all that information is taking more time than most people are planning to spend at the her office, but a system upgrade is in the works, which will cut down on time, "Other than our software not being completely ready to do the verification for us automatically, we've known. As soon as the law was passed we knew it was coming and we were prepared as we could be."

If you know your driver's license number and the expiration date, you can avoid the long lines all-together and register online or through the mail. Here are some helpful links if you live in Alabama:

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