Texas Attorney General Halts Sale Of Fake Driver's Licenses

Fraudulent "International Driver's Licenses," sold for $225 each.

by / April 11, 2008

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott charged a Houston company with selling fake driver's licenses to immigrants. An enforcement action filed by the Attorney General asked the court to stop the defendants from selling fake international driver's licenses. Harris County District Judge Grant Dorfman granted the Attorney General's request for a temporary restraining order, prohibiting the vendor from continuing to illegally manufacture and market the false licenses.

Court documents filed by the Attorney General charge the defendants, Centro de Identificaciones, and its owners, Guillermo R. Robles and Hernan C. Trujillo, with multiple violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA). According to authorities, the defendants marketed fraudulent "International Driver's Licenses," which they sold for $225 each. Advertising that targeted the Hispanic community indicated that the defendants' "licenses" were authentic and would enable purchasers to purchase, insure and drive vehicles legally.

"These defendants are charged with unlawfully selling fake driver's licenses to immigrants," Abbott said. "The scheme preyed upon foreign nationals who reside in this country who were seeking a driver's license. The fake licenses conferred a false appearance of legitimacy on those who are in the United States illegally."

Under a 1949 treaty called the International Convention on Road Traffic (ICRT), only countries that have joined the treaty officially recognize international driver's licenses. The United States is a party to the agreement, and only two organizations are permitted to sell the ICRT permits: the American Automobile Association and the American Automobile Touring Alliance. Additionally, the treaty only allows the vendors to sell licenses to U.S. citizens who want to drive in foreign countries that participate in the treaty. Under the provisions of the treaty, non-U.S. citizens must acquire international driving permits in their home country. Finally, ICRT licenses issued to U.S. citizens are not valid in this country.