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BECOMING Legal: A Guide to the New Immigration Law : Where to Get Documentation

May 04, 1987

Applications for amnesty will have to be supported by documents showing that a person has lived in this country since 1982. What follows is a guide on how to obtain some crucial documentation. It includes major utilities and government offices but is not exhaustive.


The following major utility companies will provide verification letters or service date records proving that residents had telephone, water, electric or gas service billed in their name . There is no charge, except where noted.

Pacific Bell--Call the local business office, which is listed on the back of your telephone bill and in the front of the phone directory, and ask that a verification form be mailed to you. Bilingual representatives are available. The process can take up to 30 days.

General Telephone--Call or write one of GTE's three billing centers and request service verification, which will be mailed within a week. The centers, whose addresses can be found on the back of your bill, are located in Cerritos (213) 404-4200, Mentone (1/800) 482-6727, and Camarillo (1/800) 223-6177.

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power--Go in person to any DWP commercial office or call (1/800) 342-5397. Request forms for DWP's Verification Assistance Program are available in English and Spanish. DWP will search records to 1975 and mail the information within 10 days.

Water customers outside Los Angeles County should check the back of their latest water bill for the address or telephone number of their local water utility, then call or write to request service verification.

Southern California Edison--Call or write your local Edison office, found on the back of your latest bill or in your phone directory. You will be sent a confirmation letter verifying your past service record within one week.

Southern California Gas--Customers may request a service verification form in person or by mail from any of 13 gas company offices, listed on the back of your current bill and in your phone directory. Records as far back as 1972 are available, so long as service was billed in the applicant's name, but the search may take up to a month.

San Diego Gas & Electric--Call or go in person to your local SDG&E office to request service verification. There is an $8 charge per address record. You may also obtain the records by writing the Energy Information Center, 101 Ash St., San Diego 92101. Note: SDG&E's records go back only three years.


Los Angeles Unified School District--Request enrollment records from the school last attended by the student. A one-page summary taken from the student's records will be issued, at no charge, within a few days. For records more than 5 years old, contact the Microfilm Unit at (213) 625-6618 or write: LAUSD Microfilm Unit, P.O. Box 3307, Los Angeles 90051. Fees vary but should not exceed $3.07 per copy. For further information, telephone the LAUSD Public Information Office at (213) 625-6766 or your local school.

The University of California or California State University systems--Contact the admissions office or office of the registrar of the appropriate campus for transcripts. Fees and processing time vary.

Orange County Board of Education--To verify records from any one of the 28 county school districts, contact the school directly. Fees and processing time vary.

San Diego City School District--If the student is currently enrolled, verification may be obtained from the principal; if the student no longer attends the school, records may be requested by writing to the Hearing and Placement Office, 4100 Normal St., Education Room 3107. Requests will be filled within one week, at no charge.

San Diego County Office of Education--To verify records from any one of the 42 county school districts, contact the school directly, or call the county Office of Education, (619) 292-3688.


Los Angeles County tax records, including the city of Los Angeles, may be obtained by going to the main office of The Office of the County Assessor, Hall of Administration, 500 W. Temple Street, 3rd Floor, Los Angeles 90012. If your tax record is filed at any of nine other regional offices, you must appear in person at that office. Check the back of your tax bill or call (213) 974-3211 to find out where.

If you currently own the property, you can get a free computer printout of ownership verification immediately. Be prepared to provide name, address of property, purchase date and parcel number, if known. If you no longer own the property, a tax record search must be done manually at the individual tax assessor's office.

Orange County tax records may be obtained by writing to Orange County Treasurer Tax Collector, Post Office Box 1438, Santa Ana 92702. Current mailing address, parcel number, property's address and the date the property was bought and/or sold must be included. Fee is $1.30 per copy; processing takes one week.

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