Issues in Renewing Driver's License in CAP-GAP?

I am currently working in Florida. My H1B was picked up in the lottery. My final OPT expired on 8th June 2017 and currently I am on CAP-GAP. I already have received the I-797C as well as the CAP-GAP I-20 from the school. My driver’s license expired on 8th June 2017 as well.

When I went to renew my driver’s license at the local DMV, they checked my I-20, I-94, SSN Card and passport. Everything seemed smooth until the error in the system popped up stating “Refer student / exchange visitor to their school / program sponsor. The applicant must contact their immigration sponsor, to review their immigration status:. Issuance will be canceled.

I contacted the international student office at my school and they confirmed that everything was up to date from immigration point of view. They kept on asserting that DMV is responsible for fixing this issue, whereas DMV again and again asks me to get this foxed from the school. I have already been to two different DMVs. They are just playing passing the buck. I am really frustrated about who has got the actual ownership of this problem. I am unnecessarily being punished despite having all the documentation up to date.

Is there anyone who is facing the same issue or anybody who has been through the same hassle? Your response would be greatly appreciated.


Hi Buddy,

I’m also in the same situation like you, have you got the license, if so, please let me know what you have done. Appreciate for all your help.

I am in CAP-GAP period and herer at MVA - Maryland, I have submitted all my documents but thier system doesn’t have updated record hence there are not renewing my driving license. And, here in MD, I can’t even drive based on out of country license.

hi, please how did you solve this issue, I am in the same situation at the moment. It is so frustrating. please let me kno

Hi, I ran into the same situation and had been to two DPS (i.e. DMV). The examiners told me that they can’t accept the cap-gap Form I-20 and kept asking for a new EAD. The issue is USCIS doesn’t issue a new EAD for the cap-gap period. I’m going to try a third time with printout USCIS explanation. Hopefully the examiner will get it and valid my extension of stay.

Apologies for the late response. Unfortunately, there is no way out of this situation. In my case, I went to the different DMV and they were able to issue a temporary paper permit. Good luck.

Unfortunately, there is no way out of this situation. In my case, I went to the different DMV and they were able to issue a temporary paper permit. Good luck.

Unfortunately, there is no way out of this situation. In my case, I went to the different DMV and they were able to issue a temporary paper permit. Try going to the DMV located in a metropolis. Good luck.

Thank you. Yeah a temporary paper one will do for this period.

Same here. I was in Great Atlanta Area. Only 4 days left for me. It is so disappointed. Any one who get this problem solved please do share with us!!!

Guys. Found way to solve this problem. For people who is under the cap gap, when we go to DMV to renew DL, we all will face a situation that the agent asks for valid document to prove your legal immigration status even if you provide I-20 for cap gap and H1 approval notice. If you can not provide what they ask for, you won’t get your DL renewed. What we should do is to show that the rules for cap gap from official organizations, since they actually do not know how it work for cap gap.

  1. Bring all your documents you need for renewal.
  2. Extra one: Download the official instruction, kind of regulations from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
    There is a paragraph that is about how should DMV help people under cap gap extension get drive license. Ask agent to UPLOAD THE PAGE to their system for SAVE program reviewer (we all need to go through this program to verify our immigration status) to see it.
  3. Extra two: Open the website of Extension of Post Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) and F-1 Status for Eligible Students under the H-1B Cap-Gap Regulations | USCIS
    Make sure you open the bulletin of Proof of Continuing Status,then PRINT THIS PAGE. Ask agent to UPLOAD THIS PAGE too. (Because this is a very important sentence from USCIS, that is the only proof of continued employment authorization currently available to an affected student is an updated Form I-20 showing an extension of OPT. Highlight IT for reviewer to see it easily)
  4. Wait to get DL renewed.

I went to DMV five times with a month and called them five or six times. Finally I got it solved unexpectedly.

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Thanks a lot @rickgrey for sharing the info. Would you mind sharing any additional details like what was done in 5 visits. I will publish this as an article for everyone benefit.
Also, do you know, if this would work for other states too ?

Dear Kumar,
I am so glad that you have the same willing to share this article benefiting everyone who is suffering this. And it is also the purpose why I am writing this article.
At first visit, they put me on the first SAVE verification program, said they will called me back, let me wait.
At second visit a week after first visit, since they did not call me. They checked system there is a letter on the way to my apartment. Ask me to wait for the letter.
At third visit a week after second visit, since I did not receive the letter. I asked them to check for me. They asked me to get a No. then served me. I refused then call their service number. They said I provide expired I-20. I said check the third page on I-20 and you will know it is valid. They just do not understand. Stupid.
At fourth visit a week after third, I gave up on this location and tried on anther one. Nothing I expected happened. Left disappointed. Start to do research on how to convince DMV. Prepare the extra docs I mentioned and feel there is a chance.
At fifth visit, I am the expert on this. They put me on the second SAVE verification (three totally). They just uploaded the same documents as they did on first time. I said you have to upload the extra docs. Otherwise there is no difference from first verification. How could I get the second passed. They followed my request. Waited another week. Case closed. I kept calling them instead of going to DMV until I knew I get passed.
At sixth visit, I got the license. Way much more happier than when I got H1B.

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This is just my trial. I think as long as the SAVE verification reviewer really check the status seriously, it will work. Maybe some states donot use SAVE verification, not sure. You still can also provide these docs to get it passed more easily since you can explain on site to them that these two docs is published by USICE and USCIS, DMV should use it as a proof.

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@rickgrey, thanks a lot for sharing the details. You have been through a lot and never gave up ! Kudos to your persistence…Got it, I will publish the article soon and post the link here.