The 43 questions Georgia asks Puerto Ricans who want a driver’s license

The governor of Puerto Rico today asked Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to address “disturbing irregularities” cited in a federal lawsuit that claims the state discriminates against Puerto Rico natives who apply for driver’s licenses – by asking questions about local politics, geography, sports and music.

So reports my AJC colleague David Wickert.

We now have a bit more information on this state Department of Driver Services policy. Specifically, we have the 43 potential questions that the DDS has put together in a “Puerto Rican Interview Guide.”

A copy of the guide was provided by attorneys for Kenneth Caban Gonzalez, who says he’s waited 600 days for his Georgia driver’s license – and still doesn’t have it.

The DDS document says the material contained within was “taken from Diplomatic Security Service PR Interview Guide,” but it’s not clear whether that’s a federal source. Neither does the document indicate when it was put together.

But we have a clue about the latter. One of the questions is “Who is the current governor of PR?” The answer contained in the document is “Pedro Rosello.” Pedro Rossello was governor of Puerto Rico from 1993 to 2001. Which could indicate that it’s been around for some time.

(It was Gov. Ricardo Rossello of Puerto Rico who called out Kemp today.)

Updated at 6 p.m.: Shevondah Leslie, the DDS director of communications, just called to say that the “Puerto Rican Interview Guide” was never authorized by DDS authorities, but was unable to say in whose possession the document was in when it surfaced during the lawsuit discovery process -- last December, before Kemp took office.

Kemp spokeswoman Candice Broce also sent us this statement:

“Governor Kemp expects state employees to follow the law and treat every constituent with dignity and respect. Our team has spoken with DDS Commissioner Spencer Moore and asked him to conduct a full investigation into these claims.”

Now, as we were saying, the “Puerto Rican Interview Guide” has its trick questions:

-- “Where is Caguas Beach? Caguas is the largest inland city and has no beach.”

-- “How long is the San Juan-Fajardo train ride? There is no train.”

-- “How do citizens of Puerto Rico vote for President of the U.S. They cannot vote for the U.S. President.”

But maybe it’d be easier if you simply strolled through the document yourself:

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About the Author

Jim Galloway
Jim Galloway
Jim Galloway is a three-decade veteran of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who writes the Political Insider blog and column.
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