“SAVE” me. How USCIS Corrects Errors In Its Database to Permit Legal Foreign National to Obtain Driver’s Licenses

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If I have heard it once, I have heard it 50 times in the last year.  A foreign national is denied a driver’s license at the Department of Driver’s Services (“DDS”) because their immigration status cannot be confirmed through the “SAVE” database.  SAVE is the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements program run and administered by USCIS. In Georgia, all public benefit applications, like a Driver’s License, must be verified as properly given only to legal and documented foreign nationals.   Even though an applicant has presented a valid document, like a permanent resident card, work permit, or a valid visa and I-94 card, sometimes the “SAVE” database does not show the person as properly documented.  Usually, this is because of a USCIS error in their database.  Most times DDS tell the foreign national to “go to USCIS to “fix” the problem.”  Not exactly the most helpful advise.  So, how does a person actually fix this problem in the USCIS database that is stopping them from getting a driver’s license?
Here is a summary of the process to correct the “SAVE’ database, courtesy of the USCIS’s Denver Field Office.  After setting up an “Infopass” with your local USCIS office, you talk to the USCIS Infopass officer that calls your assigned appointment number. She or he will ask you for your “SAVE” number.  According to USCIS:

The SAVE Program requires that the DMV (or other benefit granting agency) provide applicants who are not verified with SAVE, after the agencies have followed all three verification steps, with a records correction fact sheet and a SAVE verification number. The fact sheet advises applicants on how to correct their records with USCIS and specifies that they can schedule an appointment using InfoPass. When the applicant/customer comes in with an issue related to a SAVE Program verification, we ask for the SAVE verification number. If the customer does not have a SAVE verification number, we provide the customer with a SAVE letter and ask them to go back to the DMV (or other benefit granting agency) to get the number. Once the customer provides us with the verification number, we contact SAVE regarding the verification using an internal helpline. In cases where SAVE advises that the customer was verified, SAVE tells us to have the customer go back to the DMV (or other benefit granting agency) to complete his or her application process. In cases where the SAVE Program could not verify the customer’s current immigration status, we have to order the A-file to identify and resolve the issue. Usually, it is a name or date of birth issue, which we can normally fix locally. It is important to note that USCIS does not correct information in SAVE. Rather, USCIS corrects information in an individual’s USCIS immigration record that can then be accessed by SAVE.

From experience, it can take 30-90 days to correct a SAVE database error.  
Should you have an issue with your Driver’s License or any other public benefit for you are qualified, follow this guidance to get the USCIS database corrected, and return and get your Driver’s License issued.   
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Charles Kuck

Managing Partner

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