The DMV Helps You Fight Fraud

New law prevents display of Social Security numbers on driver's license

Had your share of long lines at the DMV? Well, here’s an incentive to be a little more patient. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America, according to the Federal Trade Commission, and through the DMV, the government is helping you to fight it.

In January, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 went into effect to reform terrorism prevention. How does this affect you directly? A part of the legislation prohibits federal, state, and local governments from displaying Social Security numbers, or any derivative thereof, on driver’s licenses.

Many Americans fall victim to identity thieves by having their SSNs stolen and misused. Although you may still be required to present proof of your SSN it cannot be displayed. So if your driver’s license falls into the wrong hands, you will be protected.

If you’re still less than enthused about spending an afternoon in the DMV, remember that people whose identities have been stolen devote years and hard-earned money to cleaning up the mess someone else made. Don’t take that risk! If your current card displays your SSN, contact your local DMV for a replacement. Consider the possibility of saving your afternoon by replacing your driver’s license online. For other tips on how to protect your identity, read “Stolen Lives” in this issue.

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