Legal FAQ

    If you are over 18 years old, you may apply for a California Driver's License once your DACA application has been granted and you receive your Social Security Number (SSN). If you are under 18, you may apply for a provisional permit. NOTE: You must obtain a SSN before applying for a Driver's License.  
    • HOW DO I START THE PROCESS?
      • You can start your application as soon as you have your work permit and your Social Security number.
      • Your work permit must be valid for 60 days or more from the day you apply.
      • Apply for your Driver'd License in person at your local DMV office (see list below). Or, to find your local DMV office and for faster service, make an appointment online at dmv.ca.gov or call (800) 777-0133.
     
    • WHAT MUST I BRING TO MY DMV APPOINTMENT?
      • Your Social Security Number. (NOTE: You do not need to bring your Social Security card.)
      • An original, paper document verifying your name and birth date and proving your legal presence in the United States. DMV calls this document your “birth date/legal presence document.”
        • DMV will accept any document showing approval of your DACA case. Acceptable documents include: Employment Authorization Card (work permit issued by USCIS); or Notice of Action (I-797 Approved Petition) indicating approval of your DACA application.
        • A full list of accepted documents is available on the DMV website.
      • Application fee is $32 for a new Driver's License. DMV accepts cash, check, money order, and debit card.
     
    • WHAT HAPPENS DURING MY DMV APPOINTMENT?
      • You will submit your application and your work permit or DACA approval notice, pay your application fee, have your photo taken, and give a thumbprint.
      • DMV will verify your SSN during your appointment. During your first appointment, you will also be given a vision exam and traffic law test.
      • Once you pass your traffic law test, you will be given a provisional permit and you may schedule another appointment to take your driving test. For information on what to bring to your driving test, visit: www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm
     
    • WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I PASS MY DRIVING TEST?
      • After you pass the required tests, DMV may issue you a temporary license valid for 60 days.
      • DMV will mail your Driver's License after verification of your legal presence, which can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
      • If your temporary license is expiring and you have not received your Driver's License, you may contact the DMV Issuance Department at (916) 657-7790 to inquire about the status of your application.
     
    • WHEN WILL MY ID EXPIRE?
      • Your Driver License will be considered “limited term” and will expire on the expiration date of your birth date/legal presence document.
        • For example, if your work permit expires 1 year from the day you apply for your Driver's License, your Driver's License will also expire in 1 year.
        • If your limited term Driver's License expires and you need an extension, you must provide a birth date/legal presence document that expires 60 or more days from the day you apply.
      For more information visit: dmv.ca.gov or call (800) 777-0133. Information Provided by the International Human Rights Law Clinic, UC Berkeley School of Law

    Berkeley students continue to use advance parole to travel abroad.

    If you have decided to travel and received advance parole from USCIS, below are several tips that will help prepare you for the process of going abroad.

    If you initially entered the United States without authorization and you are not grandfathered under 245-i, traveling on advance parole can help you fix your immigration status through an immediate relative (U.S. citizen parent, spouse, or child) more easily in the future.
    • Applying for Advance Parole
      • If this is with regards to emergency travel in the next couple months or you have a sick relative abroad that you need to visit for humanitarian reasons, you can apply for advance parole at the local USCIS field office in San Francisco in person. Many Berkeley students have done so successfully in the past by taking their complete, prepared advance parole application and filing fee to the local USCIS office at 444 Washington Street for same-day approval. Infopass appointments are encouraged, and should be made early, in advance of when you plan to go to the local office.
        • For humanitarian travel abroad, a doctor’s note outlining the relative’s health, and proof of relationship to sick relative (birth certificates), or a death certificate if the family member has passed away, is usually required evidence for approval of advance parole. All documents that are not in English need to be translated, and our legal team has the expertise to do this in-house.
        • The local USCIS office has also approved advance parole, in limited cases, for emergency employment-based travel abroad such as work-related conferences. This would require a letter from an employer.
        • The local USCIS office is not approving advance parole for educational reasons at this time due to a national directive. However, if you have already applied for advance parole with USCIS for a study abroad program and have been approved, please contact your attorney with regards to using the approval to travel abroad.
      • Things to take to the USP attorney and to the local field office:
        • Prepared I-131 advance parole application with two passport photos,
        • Filing fee of $575 (check or money order made out to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security),
        • Evidence of need to travel abroad, such as doctor's letter with translations
        • DACA work permit and approval notice,
        • Your current passport, and California ID/driver’s license
      • Be sure to stay within the dates of approved travel on your advance parole document.
      • When applying for advance parole, we suggest that you give yourself a few extra days on either end of your trip to allow for contingencies. Example: If my conference or program goes from December 15, 2016 to January 10, 2017, I may want to apply for advance parole from December 10, 2017 to January 15, 2017.
      • One application for multiple trips. If you have multiple trips planned, you can apply for advance parole for these trips in one application. Example: I have been approved for a research project that involves several trips to one country or visiting multiple countries. I can list all of these country visits in ONE Form I-131 with an explanation for the multiple trips.
    • Leaving the U.S. & Traveling to Your Destination
      • For your travel to country of origin.
        • If you plan to travel to your country of origin, the only document you need for entry is a passport from that country that is valid for six months after the date of travel.
      • For travel to a third country.
        • If you are travelling to a place that is NOT your country of origin, you will need to comply with any visa requirements of that country as they pertain to someone with your nationality and country of citizenship.
      • If you have any questions about the visa requirements, please talk with your attorney:
        • Example: I am a Salvadoran national with DACA travelling to Mexico. I will need a visitor visa required for a Salvadoran to enter Mexico. The best place to look for this information is the consulate website for the destination country, in this case, Mexico.
      • Prepare your re-entry documents. In order to be fully prepared for any questions you may receive from Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), we suggest that you carry with you the following original documents:
        • A passport from your country of origin that is valid for at least six months after the date of travel;
        • Advance parole document;
        • Evidence of reason for trip abroad;
        • Employment authorization card;
        • A copy of your DACA approval notice;
        • State I.D. or driver’s license; and
        • Your attorney’s business card with contact information.
        Make copies of the documents above, keep a set with you, and leave one with someone you trust in the United States in case you lose the originals.
      • Prepare for re-entry questioning. A CBP officer will likely place you in 'secondary inspection' and ask questions about your trip abroad and about your residence in the United States when you are re-entering the U.S., such as:
        • What was the reason for your trip abroad?
        • For how long were you gone?
        • What countries did you visit and where did you stay?
        • Where do you reside in the U.S.?
        • What do you do in the United States?
      • You should remain calm, and be prepared to answer these questions and show documents that provide evidentiary support.
      • Be sure to get proof of re-entry.
        • If you are returning to the United States over a land border, be sure that an immigration officer at the port of entry inspects and stamps your passport.
        • This proof of re-entry is evidence that you complied with the terms of your Advance Parole and may also be useful to you in the future if you ever apply for permanent residency through a family member such as a U.S. citizen spouse, parent or child.
        • You can also obtain your proof of lawful entry online
    Prerna Lal, Undocumented Student Program, UC Berkeley. Contact us at: plal@ebclc.org
    • WHO SHOULD GET THEIR FBI RECORDS?

    It is important to obtain your FBI records if you have had any prior contact with law enforcement or immigration authorities. Visit the FBI website for further instructions.

    • HOW DO I GET MY FBI RECORDS?

    To obtain your records, you will have to send your fingerprints, an application, and a small fee to the FBI records request office.

    1. Complete the FBI Record Application Form
      • Be sure to include the address where you want your records sent.
      • You can find the Application and additional information here.
    2. Get your fingerprints taken and fill out the standard fingerprint form.
      • Take the standard fingerprint form FD-258 (see link below) to an approved location for your fingerprints to be physically taken. See list below. The stores charge about $35.00-$45.00.
      • You can find the Standard Fingerprint form here. Remember: Fill out the fingerprint card, in black ink, with your name, date of birth, mailing address, place of birth, citizenship, and physical characteristics.
      • Approved locations for fingerprinting:
        • Oakland Livescan, (510) 836-6011 ext. 2, 1814 Franklin Street, Suite 903, Oakland, CA
        • Cal Live Scan, (510) 316-7828, 2855 Telegraph Avenue, Suite 303, Berkeley, CA
        • The UPS Store, (510) 547-9877, 2340 Powell Street, Emeryville, CA
        • The UPS Store, (510) 528-9444, 3060 El Cerrito Plaza, El Cerrito, CA.
        • They will give you the completed fingerprint card for submission.
    3. Prepare an $18.00 money order payable to: Treasury of the United States. Remember: CASH OR CHECKS NOT ACCEPTED.
    4. Put your items together and make sure you’ve signed everything: The Fingerprint Card, FBI Record Application form, and the $18.00 money order.
    5. Mail the above items to: FBI CJIS Division – Record Request, 1000 Custer Hollow Road, Clarksburg, WV 26306.
    6. You will receive your records by mail in 5-6 weeks, depending on the volume of requests.
    The California Department of Justice provides an automated service for criminal history background checks. This background check is not required to submit a DACA application, but may be important to determine your eligibility if you have a criminal record. This background check is recommended if you’ve had any contact with law enforcement in the state of California.
    • STEPS FOR DACA APPLICANTS
      • Review relevant information at the California Department of Justice website.
      • Fill out "Request for Live Scan," also called form BCIA 8016. Remember to fill out your name and personal information but not agency information. You want the results to come to you or your attorney, so be sure to include those addresses.
      • Get Your Fingerprints: Take the form and a form of photo I.D. to a LiveScan location for fingerprinting. You will have to pay a fee of $32.
        • Cal Live Scan: 2855 Telegraph #303, info@CalLiveScan.com
        • RedTomatoes P3Digitix Live Scan Fingerprinting: 2107 Dwight Way #107, p3dlivescan@redtomatoes.org
        • Vick Copy, North Gate, 1879 Euclid Avenue, euclid@vickcopy.com
        • Find additional locations in Alameda County here.
      • Wait for Your Results: CA DOJ will respond either electronically or via U.S. mail.
    • ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
      • Do I need this status check if I was not convicted or if the incident happened when I was a juvenile? It is important to be clear about what your record contains.
      • What if I submitted prints and have not heard back? The process can be delayed if your fingerprints are of poor quality, you do have a criminal history or you submitted erroneous information. In general, however, you should have a status update within days.
    Information Provided by the UC Berkeley School of Law, International Human Rights Law Clinic
    Once your DACA application has been approved and you receive your Social Security Number (SSN), the DMV may issue you an Identification Card (I.D.). NOTE: You must obtain an SSN before applying for an I.D.
    • HOW DO I START THE PROCESS?
      • You can start your application once you have your work permit and your Social Security Number.
        • Apply for your ID card right after receiving your work permit and SSN. Your work permit must be valid for 60 days or more from the day you apply for your ID card.
      • Apply for your ID card in person at your local DMV office. To find your local DMV office and for faster service, make an appointment online at dmv.ca.gov or call (800) 777-0133.
     
    • WHAT DO I BRING TO MY DMV APPOINTMENT?
      • Your Social Security Number. (You do not need to bring your Social Security card.)
      • An original, paper document verifying your name and birth date, and proving your legal presence in the United States. DMV calls this document your “birth date/legal presence document.”
        • DMV will accept any document showing approval of your DACA case. Acceptable documents include: Employment Authorization Card (work permit issued by USCIS); or Notice of Action (I-797 Approved Petition) indicating approval of your DACA application.
        • A full list of accepted documents and current information is available on the DMV website.
      • Application fee is $27 for a new ID card. DMV accepts cash, check, money order, and debit card.
     
    • WHAT HAPPENS DURING MY DMV APPOINTMENT?
      • You will submit your application and your work permit or DACA approval notice, pay your application fee, have your photo taken, and give a thumbprint. DMV will verify your SSN during your appointment.
    • WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I APPLY?
      • DMV will verify your legal presence with USCIS. Once it has done so, DMV will mail your photo ID card. This can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
      • If the verification takes longer than 75 days, DMV will send you a letter telling you what is needed to complete the verification process.
     
    • WHEN WILL MY ID EXPIRE?
      • Your ID card will be considered “limited term” and will expire on the expiration date of your birth date/legal presence document.
        • For example, if your work permit expires 1 year from the day you apply for your ID card, your ID card will also expire in 1 year.
        • If your limited term ID card expires and you need an extension, you must provide a birth date/legal presence document that expires 60 or more days from the day you apply.
     
    • WHERE ARE THE NEAREST DMV FIELD OFFICES?
      • El Cerrito: 6400 Manila Avenue, El Cerrito 94530
      • Hayward: 150 Jackson Street, Hayward 94544
      • Oakland: 5300 Claremont Avenue, Oakland 94618
      • Coliseum: 501 85th Avenue, Oakland 94621
      • Redwood City: 300 Brewster Ave., Redwood City 94063
      • San Francisco: 1377 Fell Street, San Francisco 94117
      • San Jose: 111 W. Alma Avenue, San Jose 95110
      • San Mateo: 425 N. Amphlett Blvd., San Mateo 94401
    For more information visit: https://www.dmv.ca.gov or call (800) 777-0133. Information Provided by the UC Berkeley School of Law, International Human Rights Clinic  
    Once your DACA application has been granted and you have received your Employment Authorization Card (I-766), you’re ready to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN). NOTE: You need to obtain a SSN before you can apply for a State ID Card or a Driver's License. The Social Security Administration has published a helpful brochure for DACA recipients, which you can download.  
    • WHAT’S THE PROCESS?
      • Determine whether you are eligible for a SSN.
        • Has USCIS granted your DACA application?
        • Have you received an Employment Authorization Card (I-766) from USCIS?
        • If you meet both of the criteria above, you are eligible to apply.
      • Gather the necessary documents to bring to the Social Security Office. This includes:
        • Your USCIS-issued Employment Authorization Card (I-766); and
        • At least one of the following documents proving your age and identity:
          • Birth Certificate;
          • Passport;
          • U.S. military record;
          • Religious record showing age or date of birth;
          • School record showing age or date of birth;
          • School identification card; or
          • Copy of a medical record.
        • You must bring an original or a certified copy of these documents (the Social Security office will not accept a photocopy, even if it is notarized.)
        • NOTE: Bring an original birth certificate or passport if at all possible, and bring any additional documents from the above list if you have them.
      • Print out and complete an Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5).
      • Take the application and the required documents to a Social Security office where you will sign the application. You can find your local office at www.socialsecurity.gov/locator, or by checking the list below.
     
    • WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I APPLY?
      • You should receive a Social Security Card in the mail within 1-4 weeks.
     
    • WHERE ARE THE NEAREST SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICES?
      • Berkeley: 2045 Allston Way, Berkeley 94704
      • San Francisco: 1098 Valencia St, San Francisco 94110
      • San Francisco: 560 Kearny St., San Francisco 94108
      • Fremont: 3100 Mowry Ave., Ste. 100, Fremont 94538
      • Hayward: 24301 Southland Dr., Suite 500, Hayward 94545
      • San Jose: 2500 Fontaine Rd., San Jose 95121
      • Oakland: 238 11th St., Oakland 94607
      • San Mateo: 800 S. Claremont St., San Mateo 94402
      • Richmond: 3164 Garrity Way, Richmond 94806
      For more information visit www.socialsecurity.gov or call (800) 772-1213. Information Provided by the UC Berkeley School of Law, International Human Rights Clinic