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August 20, 2013

LITTLE ROCK – A Washington County judge has ruled that a Las Vegas company violated Arkansas law by selling invalid international driver’s licenses and identification cards, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today.

Judge Doug Martin entered a default judgment against American ID Solutions and its owner, Saul Gomez, in Washington County Circuit Court last week. McDaniel had filed suit against Gomez’s company last year, accusing it of fraudulently advertising its ID cards as official, legal documents.

American ID Solutions advertised to Spanish-speaking consumers that the cards it issued would entitle holders to drive in any part of the world, rent a car in any city, obtain title and insurance and avoid most traffic citations.

The defendants were ordered to pay a $100,000 civil penalty and cease their illegal operations, which violated the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

“This company targeted consumers who may be unaware of the process to obtain legitimate and official driver’s licenses or identification cards,” McDaniel said. “Despite the advertisements to the contrary, these cards provided no benefit and served no legal purpose.”

American ID Solutions peddled two types of products: An “international driver’s license” was sold for $175 and an ID card was $75. The documents strongly resembled legitimate driver’s licenses, but were actually useless.

The court ordered the company to disgorge funds it received in connection with its sale of the cards and to pay the state $4,500 in fees and costs, in addition to the civil penalty.

There are just two organizations in the United States that are authorized by the federal government to issue international driver’s permits, and Gomez’s company is not one of them. The American Automobile Association and National Automobile Club are permitted to provide such permits only to residents who have a valid driver’s license issued by a U.S. state or territory. Even then, the permits are not a substitute for an actual driver’s license. Noncitizens cannot obtain a valid international driver’s permit in the United States.