DENVER (CBS4) – Undocumented immigrants applying for Colorado driver’s licenses will now have to wait months. Five Division of Motor Vehicles offices across the state were processing the special applications — now there’s only one.
The department simply won’t have enough people to staff five offices. The office located on West Mississippi Avenue in Denver will now handle every request.
The Department of Revenue says part of the problem was the cost to process a restricted driver’s license, and the demand was much higher than anticipated. A request for more funding was denied.
Julie Gonzales with the Colorado Latino Forum says thousands of people will be impacted.
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“We’re talking about wait times of potential over a year in order to be served. So there’s going to be a lot of need and a lot of anxiety in the community,” Gonzales said.
The cuts come after Republican lawmakers on the Joint Budget Committee denied the department’s request for funds to make 13 temporary employees full time.
“We weren’t talking about additional funding, we were talking about giving the Department of Revenue the ability to spend the money that they had already collected,” Gonzales said.
The program had seen such success that activists spoke out about long wait times and argued for additional offices back in September.
Gonzales says despite the setback the immigrant community is not giving up.
“I think that it’s discouraging to see the wait times, but I also think that … the reward is well worth the wait,” she said.
Those who had appointments will see delays of four months or more. They should call to reschedule their appointments. The Department of Revenue says anyone trying to set a new appointment should wait until next January to do so.
LINK: Colorado Latino Forum