Texas DPS implements new verification process for Driver's Licenses
From Helene N. Dang at Foster-Quan:
Texas DPS implemented a new verification process for all DPS offices effective October 8, 2012 and has also issued a new document guide.
DPS conducts verification of the applicant’s period of lawful presence through the DHS’s SAVE (Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements) system. So even if an applicant presents a document listed in the document guide, DPS still needs to seek verification through SAVE and DHS.
When applicants apply for their DL, the DPS customer service representative is supposed to explain the verification process to them. DPS has 3 levels of verifications: First, they will check the SAVE system to see if the person’s “admitted to” date is still valid and will get a real-time response. If they are not able to immediately verify in SAVE (say for example, someone whose H-1B status has expired but s/he has an extension pending), then DPS will do a 2ndlevel check which could take 3-5 business days to receive a response back from USCIS. Lastly, the 3rd level check is for issues that cannot be resolved and would require a “manual” check where DPS must mail the documents to USCIS for verification and we do not know how long that will take. Once verification is complete, DPS sends a letter to the applicant notifying them that verification is complete and for the applicant to return to the DPS office to complete the application process. DPS must run a verification check for every DL application. (In the meantime, if the applicant’s DL has expired, then s/he cannot drive.)
Those individuals who have already tried applying for their DL renewals were given the attached USCIS Fact Sheet (which is not entirely useful but at least you can see what DPS is giving to applicants).