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County clerks: Questions remain over new Green Light law

19 hours ago

The state's Green Light Law, which allows undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses through the local Department of Motor Vehicles, takes effect on Saturday, Dec. 14.

But county clerk offices are still waiting for some equipment promised by the state to help them authenticate foreign documents.

Monroe County Clerk Adam Bello says his concern all along has been verifying the authenticity of documents, particularly when they are in a foreign language. And they need time to get acclimated to the new equipment.

Monroe County Clerk Adam Bello say says it has taken a few days to get the information that is needed, but his office will be prepared for the new law.
Credit Alex Crichton

He said as long as the scanners come in by Dec. 16, which is the first business day after the law goes into effect, they’ll be “ready to go” as long as the equipment is working well.

“But it depends on when we get that equipment,” Bello said. “Hopefully that comes in the next several days, which is what they indicated would happen. But obviously if we don't get the equipment that we're anticipating, then we would not be ready that day."

Republican Oswego County Clerk Michael Backus also has concerns.

He tells WXXI’s “Capitol Pressroom” that his office, and offices statewide, have received very little guidance from the state on the process.

“We have very, very limited interaction,” Backus said. “State DMV has now had this for what, six month-ish, and here we are at the 11th hour, trying to put this together."

Bello said there was a training session with the state DMV this week, and another scheduled for next week.

He anticipates clerk's offices will still have questions before the new law takes effect.