Officials work to streamline resident verification

Published 9:36 am Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Alabama’s new immigration law has been in effect for just under a month, and local officials are working to streamline the resident verification process.

Both Probate Judge Jim Perdue and Revenue Commissioner Sherry McSwean said that the biggest thing people can do is be prepared to show the proper documentation, like a valid driver’s license.

“Make sure you bring your driver’s license with you, and don’t wait until the end of the month,” Perdue said. “The last day of September had some of the longest lines for tag renewals I’ve ever seen.”

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Perdue said verification is required for both parties if the title to a vehicle is owned by two people.

The state of Alabama offers the ALVerify program, which allows residents to “verify an Alabama driver license or non-driver identification card for the purpose of demonstrating U.S. citizenship and/or lawful presence in the U.S.”

That service can be found at .

Because ALVerify gives residents a confirmation code, it allows people to renew tags via mail or online.

Both Perdue and McSwean said that the law is still being refined, and there are still questions that have to be answered.

“ALVerify only works for Alabama,” McSwean said. “A lot of people who come in to pay land taxes are from out of state.”

She said that the law requires her office to attach verification to every kind of renewal and payment that comes through, even if it’s the same person paying each.

“For every mobile home renewals, we have to verify all parties,” she said. “If you receive benefits like current use, homestead exemptions or tax abatements, we have to verify that too.”

One problem her office has faced was the timing of the legislation, which went into effect on Sept. 28.

By that time, tax notices had already been printed and mailed.

“We could have notified people if we had known, and I think a lot of people are still not aware of what they need to bring,” McSwean said.

If a driver’s license is expired, a birth certificate will be required.

Perdue said that military IDs can’t be used because non-citizens can serve in the military.

Individual databases have not yet been connected, such as those between the Probate and Revenue offices, and that is a goal for the future.

“People will have to verify in both places,” said McSwean. “For the most part, people have been cooperative. We will help you comply.”

“Citizens need to bring their driver’s license, come early in the month, and be patient,” Perdue said.

For more information, call the Probate or Revenue office at 335-6568.