New Green Light Law Creates Long Lines at DMVs

MID-HUDSON – The first day of the state law that allows undocumented people the ability to secure driver’s licenses brought hundreds to the motor vehicle offices in each county.
In Dutchess, at 8:45 a.m., there was a line of people outside the county building in Poughkeepsie waiting to obtain the paperwork to start the process.

Applicants cannot automatically get a license; they must take the permit test first and they were administered in Poughkeepsie, Wappingers Falls and Beacon to accommodate the volume.

At the Ulster County DMV, County Clerk Nina Postupack said it was the busiest day in her 40-year career in the office.

“Everyone has been very patient. It’s a learning curve for our staff so we are trying to move everyone along as quickly as possible. Everyone here has been extremely patient. We have limited resources as far our permit area. We are able to handle six people at one time so we have 50 or 60 people waiting,” she said.

In Orange County, there were similar long lines. Ignacio Acevedo, from Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson was at the Goshen DMV office to help people waiting on line. There were Chinese, Polish, Hungarian and Latin Americans eager to start the process, he said.

“They go through the whole process; they don’t just automatically get a license. They have to go through the whole application, they have to go through all of the exams and also they have to verify who they are,” he said.

Despite the long hours of waiting, Acevedo said everyone was understanding and orderly and the DMV was accommodating given the large numbers of people.

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