Chesterfield woman in US legally can't renew driver's license

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – The DMV sent a letter to Ledy Serrano, a Chesterfield woman who's had a license for about a decade. According to the letter, Ledy Serrano is living and working in the US legally, but her legal status is not one that's recognized in Virginia.

Colombian native Ledy Serrano needs her driver's license. The mother of three buses her children around and works two jobs. Monday morning we watched, as for one hour, she tried with all her might to get her license re-newed. But with a look of defeat, Ledy's quickly realizes in 11 days it will expire.

She has a clean driving record; no criminal history. She understands why Governor McDonnell suspended the acceptance of a federal employment card. A man, set to be deported, used it to apply for a state ID.

Her eyes filled with tears. She's confused as to how she could be in the US legally, but not in the state where she owns a home and pays taxes.

"I really don't know what the answer is for her," said Ledy's immigration lawyer, Dustin Dyer.  He's baffled by her situation. He's helped other documented immigrants renew and get driver's licenses since the Governor's September ruling. Ledy's is the only unsuccessful case.

"When she had told me that she went to DMV initially and they denied her the license I just assumed it was a matter of the person who had attended to her didn't understand the law or the regulation," explained Dyer.

Dyer says Ledy isn't going back to Colombia anytime soon. Her status is similar to political asylum-- if she goes back her life is in danger.

"And clearly based on this information, which is public information, it says all first-time applicants must present proof of legal presence," explained Dyer as he surveyed DMV requirements for obtaining a driver's license. "And this would not apply to her situation because she's not a first-time applicant."

We called the DMV and were redirected to their policies which don't mention a legal presence requirement when renewing a license.

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