PennDOT's Suspension of Driver's Licenses

PennDOT's suspension of driver's licenses of people without Social Security numbers

Attorneys/Firms: Witold Walczak (ACLU-PA)

(6/19/09) Thousands of Pennsylvania residents will not lose their driver's licenses this week after the ACLU and a coalition of immigrants' rights advocates convinced the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to postpone a June 19 deadline for license cancellation. The agency recently sent out a misleading letter informing thousands of people that their driver's licenses were cancelled because PennDOT could not verify their Social Security numbers. In Pennsylvania non-citizens do not need a Social Security number to hold a driver's license.

In response to panicked calls from drivers across the state, the ACLU and the Philadelphia chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association sent a letter Monday, June 15, to PennDOT Director Janet Dolan, pointing out the errors in PennDOT's letter and requesting that the department postpone the cancellation deadline to give drivers more time to verify their identities. PennDOT has agreed to reissue the notice with an extended deadline and corrected information about documents needed to contest a license cancellation.

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