DPS computer issue forces some to prove they're US citizens

DPS office
August 23, 2013 9:01:41 PM PDT
When Houston resident Ronnie Burks went to renew his driver's license today, he says he was told he wasn't a US citizen.

Burke, who has been an American citizen since birth, was outraged. He went home and got his birth certificate and was issued a new license. But now he's concerned other US citizens could face the same problem.

Eyewitness News reached out to the Department of Public Safety and was told this is a recurring issue. A spokesperson there told us that, since 2008, DPS has required customers to prove their citizenship, if it's not already in its computer system, when renewing licenses.

If you haven't renewed your license since 2008, DPS says there's a chance you will have to prove your citizenship.

DPS provided the following statement: "Since 2008, when Texas implemented proof of lawful presence in order to comply with the federal Real ID Act, the Department has been updating our records as applicants come into the office if the citizenship is not listed as confirmed. The Department is required by law to collect citizenship information as part of the DL application process. To reduce the risk of identity theft, enhance security and protect the integrity of the licensing process, individuals must provide documentation to verify their U.S. citizenship or lawful presence status. In the event the system does not reflect the confirmed citizenship status of an individual, an applicant for renewal will be asked to provide documentation."

We'll have more on this story coming up on Eyewitness News Tonight at 10pm.

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