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Undocumented Immigrants in CO Scammed for DMV Access

By: Bridget Clerkin January 11, 2016
Several "scalpers" have been selling DMV appointments to undocumented driver's license applicants.

While most people hate the idea of waiting at the DMV in snaking long lines that move at a snail’s pace, a growing group in Colorado would happily pay for the privilege. Unfortunately for them, however, that option may not be legal.

The Colorado Attorney General’s Office is investigating a scalping scheme, where scammers are scheduling a large block of appointments at DMV offices across the state, then selling the time slots – anywhere from $50 to as much as $1,000 each, according to the CO Attorney General, Cynthia Coffman.

Most of the people being targeted by the plot are undocumented immigrants. Colorado launched a new program allowing members of that community to retain driver’s licenses last July, but since the law has gone into effect, the state’s DMV offices have been inundated with appointment requests.

Only 3 offices in the state are trained to handle such requests, and undocumented immigrants must wait 3 months to visit the state agency after securing an appointment—which are offered, officially, free of charge. Still, many have yet to even reach that step.

Enter the scammers, who have promised to expedite the process, for those willing to pay.

At least part of the state investigation is analyzing whether the scheme is actually illegal. Another part is determining how to close the loopholes allowing for the practice, if any exist.

In the meantime, to help build their case, Coffman has made a public announcement asking victims of the plot to step forward. Giving information would not endanger an individual’s residency status, and anonymous complaints are allowed, she said.

“We need people who have been victimized to come forward so we can identify these unscrupulous individuals and businesses who are profiting from a free government service,” Coffman said. “Anyone engaged in this scam should cease their activity and immediately cancel any scheduled appointments they’ve reserved.”

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