SAVE is an acronym for Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements. It is a Department of Homeland Security/United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) program that retrieves data from multiple databases to verify a non-citizen's lawful presence status in the U.S.
As of January 1, 2008, Georgia state law requires DDS to verify all immigration documents presented by non-citizens via SAVE prior to issuing a driver's license/permit/ID card (O.C.G.A. §40-5-21.1). In most cases, the verification can be completed immediately during the applicant's driver's license/permit/ID card transaction. In some cases verification can take several days. Until the documentation is verified by USCIS, DDS cannot issue a driver's license/permit/ID card.
SAVE electronically verifies immigration status using a three step process:
- Initial verification (DHS returns a response to DDS within seconds).
- If not initially verified, the inquiry goes to 2nd level verification (DHS generally returns a response to DDS within 3 to 5 federal working days).
- If not confirmed through 2nd level verification, the inquiry goes to 3rd level verification. (DDS submits a written request for confirmation along with copies of the customer's immigration documents to DHS. Their response time is generally 10 to 20 federal working days).
Once immigration documentation is verified with USCIS, a Georgia driver's license/permit/ID card can be issued with an expiration date that matches the immigration documentation expiration date, up to 5 years. If there is no expiration date on the immigration documentation, a driver's license/permit/ID card can be issued for 5 years if the customer is verified through SAVE as a lawful permanent resident (LPR), aslyee or refugee. If the customer has any status other than LPR, aslyee or refugee, and there is no expiration on the immigration documentation, the maximum term available is one year. FEES
If the initial verification is unsuccessful, a 2nd level verification request will immediately be transmitted. The customer receives a SAVE Verification Customer Notice giving instructions and advising them that they will be contacted by a representative of DDS within (3) business days regarding their status. If DDS is unable to reach the applicant via phone a letter is then mailed to the applicant. Therefore, it is important that DDS has the applicant's phone number, updated address, and has scanned their documents.
Initial and second level inquiries are submitted electronically via an automate process. Customers who are subject to 2nd and/or 3rd level verification will receive a SAVE Verification Customer Notice giving instructions and advising them that they will be contacted by a representative of DDS within (3) business days regarding their status. If DDS is unable to reach the applicant via phone a letter is then mailed to the applicant. Therefore, it is important that DDS has the applicant's phone number, updated address, and has scanned their documents.
If the lawful presence status cannot be confirmed at 2nd level verification, the SAVE case will automatically proceed to 3rd level verification. DDS then mails the immigration documents to USCIS. Applicants can expect a call from a DDS representative within 10 days. If DDS is unable to reach the applicant via phone, a letter is then mailed to the applicant. Therefore, it is important that DDS has the applicant's correct phone number and updated address, and has scanned their documents.
If SAVE Verification is not successful after the 3rd level verification, DDS is not suggesting that the applicant is not lawfully present in the U.S. Rather, DDS is complying with the law that requires verification through SAVE of lawful status to obtain a driver's license/permit/ID card. The applicant can then schedule an appointment with a trained Immigration Officer. Appointments can be made in person at the local USCIS office or online via InfoPass.
Updates and Corrections to Documents
SAVE may not always reflect the most current status of lawful presence documents. If you believe the SAVE verification response did not provide accurate information about your current immigration status, or if you need to make corrections to your immigration documents, you can contact USCIS at 1-888-464-4218.
Tips for S.A.V.E
Below are a few suggestions for a faster SAVE confirmation/response:
- Ensure that the date of birth and the spelling of names is consistent on all immigration documents.
- Start the process to renew documents with USCIS at least 6 months prior to the expiration of immigration documents.
- Start the process of renewal with DDS at least 45 days prior to the expiration of a Georgia driver's license or ID card.
- Bring every original document each time you visit DDS.
- Provide DDS with valid telephone numbers and current address to expedite processing.
Last Updated On: 4/27/2012
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