HOUSE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION

 

 

May 4, 2005  Portland, OR

2:00 P.M.  NO TAPE

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. George Gilman, Chair

Rep. Terry Beyer, Vice-Chair

Rep. Chuck Burley, Vice-Chair

Rep. Kim Thatcher

 

MEMBERS EXCUSED:             Rep. Deborah Boone

Rep. Scott Bruun

Rep. Dave Hunt

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Patrick Brennan, Committee Administrator

Mike Reiley, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:

Tour of the Mexican Consulate in Portland

 

The House Committee on Transportation traveled to Portland, OR, to tour the facilities of the Mexican Consulate. The tour was given by Fernando Sanchez Ugarte, Consul, and Luis Elias, Chancellor. The tour was a fact-finding excursion designed to help committee members and staff learn more about the process by which citizens of Mexico may gain identifying documents while traveling to or living in Oregon.

 

The House Committee on Transportation has had under consideration during the 2005 Legislative Session a number of different bill dealing with documents used for issuance of driver’s licenses by the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). One source for documents that may currently be used to acquire an Oregon driver’s license is the Mexican Consulate.

 

Registration of foreign nationals through consular offices is a practice recognized by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Mexican consulates throughout the United States have been issuing identifying certificates, known as Matricula Consular de Alta Seguridad, or MCAS (also known as “matricular cards”) since 1871. By issuing matricular cards and registering Mexican nationals, consular officers are able to provide protection, access to consular services, and communication with relatives and authorities in Mexico.

 

Applicants for a matricular card are required to meet four basic requirements:

  • Proof of Mexican nationality – Birth Certificate, Certificate of Mexican Nationality, Certificate of Naturalization, or Passport
  • Present proof of identity – Documents issued by either Mexican or U.S. authorities – Military Service Identification Card, Electoral ID, Passport, expired matricular card, driver’s license, Green Card or permission from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, school records, police clearance report, U.S. Passport or state identification card
  • Present proof of residence within consular district – contract or receipt of payment for services or utilities
  • Issuance fee payment –the fee for application is $26

 

Matricular cards are issued for five years. The Mexican government maintains a database which consulates may use to verify identities and to check whether the applicant is on a “stop list” of individuals not allowed to obtain documents from the Mexican government.

                                                        

Statistics provided by the Consulate indicate that in 2004 matricular cards were accepted as a valid identification card in 377 cities, 163 counties, 178 financial institutions, and 1,180 police departments in the United States. Twelve states, including Oregon, accept matricular cards as one of the proofs of identity necessary to obtain a driver’s license.

 

Committee members were given a tour of the consular facilities and a demonstration of how matricular cards are issued.  Following the tour, Consul Fernando Sanchez Ugarte and Chancellor Luis Elias provided additional information and made themselves available to answer questions regarding the matricular card program. Questions included security precautions taken when issuing cards and security features of matricular cards, the types of documents issued by the Mexican government that may be used when applying for a matricular card, and the policies of other states with regard to matricular cards.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. Matricula Consular Informational Packet, Mexican Consulate staff, 21 pp