Astoria, NY.- Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) recently called for the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to again make their written examinations and driverʼs manuals available to the public in Greek. In a letter to DMV Commissioner Nancy Naples, Assemblyman Gianaris indicated that thousands of New Yorkers are being denied the opportunity given to those who speak other languages.
“In western Queens alone, there are thousands of Greek-speaking New Yorkers who require the assistance of the DMV to obtain a driverʼs license,” said Assemblyman Gianaris. “Without this service, the State of New York is denying thousands of Greek-speaking New Yorkers access to a driverʼs license.”
Recently, the DMV stopped issuing tests in a number of foreign languages it once provided, including Greek. Since the removal of these exams, the DMV has reinstated written tests in a number of languages including: Albanian, Arabic, Bosnian, Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, and Spanish. Greek is not among the languages now being offered.
“The road to obtaining a driverʼs license is hard enough for those who speak another language,” said Assemblyman Gianaris. “DMV materials translated into Greek would make this road much easier for Greek-Americans throughout New York State.”
Dear Commissioner Naples,
I write regarding a very important issue concerning many thousands of New Yorkers of Greek descent.
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers written examinations and driverʼs manuals in various languages to better serve non-English speaking New Yorkers. According to your website, the DMV offers translated materials in frequently spoken languages such as Spanish, French, Chinese, but also in less frequently spoken languages such as Polish, Albanian, and even Bosnian.
In western Queens alone, there are hundreds of thousands of Greek-speaking New Yorkers that require similar accommodations from the DMV. Furthermore, there are Greek-Americans throughout New York State that would benefit from DMV materials translated into Greek.
Accordingly, I ask that you make your written examinations and driverʼs manuals available to the public in Greek. In this way, many more New Yorkers will find the road to obtaining a driverʼs license.
I would appreciate whatever attention you can give to this matter. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.