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Driver License Secondary Review Referral Process (FFDL 3)

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Driver License Secondary Review Referral Process (FFDL 3)

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Have You Received a Secondary Review Referral Notice (DL 209A)?

If you received a DL 209A, you did not provide acceptable identity/residency documents at the time you applied for your California driver license (DL). The DL secondary review referral process allows you the opportunity to meet with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Investigations Division (INV) to verify your identity/residency documents; this may allow you to proceed with the DL process.

How Do I Begin the Secondary Review Referral Process?

  • To initiate the DL secondary review referral process, call the telephone number provided on the DL 209A. Keep your application receipt available for reference when speaking to INV staff.

NOTE: Upon receipt of the DL 209A, allow five (5) business days before contacting the Investigations Division.


  • INV staff will send a letter by mail that will include the location of the INV office where your interview will be held.
  • An interview will be scheduled for you to meet with an INV staff member to review your identity/residency documents. When the application packet is received in the designated INV office, you will be notified by mail of your scheduled interview appointment. Please allow thirty (30) days to be contacted.

NOTE: You must notify the office if an interpreter is required so one can be provided for you.


What Can I Expect at the Interview?

At the time of the interview, your identity/residency documents will be reviewed, you will be asked a series of questions, and the photo that was taken at the field office will be verified. The interview process may take up to one (1) hour.

If your identity/residency can be verified, you will receive a letter in the mail with further instructions on how to continue with the DL process.

What Documents Will I Need?

Your documentation will be used to determine who you are and where you live. You will need to bring documents that will prove your identity/residency. Requiring these documents helps safeguard the accuracy and integrity of the DL issued by the DMV and may prevent someone else from using your information and/or identity. Bring as many of the following documents, listed below, with you to your scheduled interview. All documents provided will be returned after the interview.

  • School document(s) including:
    • Public or private
    • Primary, secondary, or post-secondary institution
    • College or university
    School documents must include your date of birth, or if a foreign school document, must be sealed by the school and include a photograph of the applicant at the age the record was issued.
  • Documents issued by or filed with the United States (U.S.) government or a government within the U.S. including:
    • Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal form (I-589)
    • Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status (F-1 or M-1)
    • Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1)
    • Court documents where you are named as a party to the court proceeding
    • Income tax returns
    • Driver license (valid or expired)
  • Marital status including:
    • Marriage license
    • Domestic partner registrations
    Language on a marriage license (other than English) needs to include a certified translation or an affidavit of translation into English.
  • Divorce decrees
    Language on a divorce decree (other than English) needs to include a certified translation or an affidavit of translation into English.
  • Foreign document(s) including:
    • Foreign passport
    • Foreign national ID card
    • Consular ID card
    • Foreign driver license
    Language on a foreign driver license (other than English) needs to include a certified translation or an affidavit of translation into English
  • Identification card
    Identification card(s) must include a photograph of the applicant issued by the U.S. government or a government within the U.S.
  • Birth document including:
    • Birth certificate
    • Adoption record(s)
  • Any document(s) presented from the list above that lists your spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, or legal guardian provided the applicant also provides a birth certificate, adoption record, marriage license, or domestic partnership registration to trace the relationship.

NOTE: You will be given information regarding how long the process may take and a contact number during the interview.


How Do I Obtain Foreign Documents?

If you need to replace or obtain your foreign documents, you may contact your country’s consulate. A consulate office acts on behalf of a foreign nation to aid and assist their citizens residing abroad.

Consulate locations and contact information can change daily. To ensure that you receive the most current consulate information, please visit the US Department of State website for a full listing of the consulates within the United States.

What if My Identity/Residency Cannot be Verified?

If DMV is unable to verify your identity/residency documents, a letter will be mailed to you stating your DL secondary review referral process has ended because the identity/residency documents you presented could not be verified. Your DL application may not be completed. If fraudulent documents are presented, DMV may take further action.

Information about DMV’s Investigation Division (INV)

INV is a leader in law enforcement, with a skilled team of approximately 220 Peace Officers and more than 130 support staff. INV investigators participate in specialized assignments including: computer forensics, local state and federal task forces (i.e., auto theft, identity theft and Joint Terrorism Task Force), and background investigations. Additionally, investigators conduct criminal, administrative, and civil investigations. This includes investigations related to: identity theft, financial crimes, employee misconduct, counterfeit/altered documents, consumer complaints against DMV, and occupational licensees. INV staff demonstrates extraordinary customer service by providing quality services with integrity, professionalism, and respect for all employees and consumers.

FFDL 3 (NEW 1/2015)

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