Driver's License Identity Theft - More common than most people think

Andre' Andropolis

Feb 2, 2011

Driver's License Identity Theft - More common than most people think

Racking up traffic violations on another person’s driver’s license is one of the most common forms of identity theft.  There are a number of reasons why a thief would want to steal someone’s driver’s license.  If they get a traffic ticket or another moving violation, they don’t want it on their own record.  In some cases, because of the prior criminal record, they might not be able to get a driver’s license in their own name.

If a thief gets a DUI while using another person’s license, this can turn into a nightmare for the victim.  The victim now has a DUI on their record.  When the court date is set for thief to attend his DUI hearing, he or she isn’t going to show up in court.  After a few months go by, a warrant will be issued for the person whose name is on the driver’s license.  Picture this scenario:  The victim is on his way home from work one night and he gets pulled over himself for speeding.  The police officer runs this guy’s license and finds that he has an “outstanding warrant” for failure to appear at his DUI hearing.  This guy pleads with the police officer that there must be some mistake because he’s never had a DUI in his life.  The officer isn’t buying his story.  The officer reads this guy his rights, arrests and handcuffs him and takes him to jail.  Situations like this are happening all over the country.

Like most types of identity theft, crimes that originate from driver’s license identity theft are difficult to detect until something happens.  There are things that you can do once you’ve detected the problem.  When you do suspect or know that your driver’s license has been stolen or duplicated, the DMV has some systems in place to assist with the crisis.  Driver license identity theft is so pervasive that many of the state DMV’s have removed social security numbers from the license.

The first suggestion I would make is to obtain a copy of your DMV driving record.  In most cases, a copy of your driving record can be purchased for around $10.00.  This will let you know if someone else has used your license and received a speeding ticket, had a car accident or been involved in some other type of moving violation.  If there happens to be any serious fraud involved with your driving record, you will need to file a fraud report with Motor Vehicle Enforcement Office of State you live in.  In you have found fraud and have reported it, you should have your driver’s license number changed.

Driver’s license fraud can be put into two categories: First, it might occur when a thief uses another person’s documents to secure a license in someone else’s name.   In the second category, a thief simply steals another person’s driver’s license.  For example, if you’re test driving a car, a sales person might ask you to leave your driver’s license with them.  You don’t have to provide this information.  Just let them know that you’re concerned about identity theft and that you’re not comfortable with leaving the license with them.

You should do everything possible to guard your driver’s license to make sure that your personal data is secure.  The information that your driver’s license contains is just as valuable as your credit card or social security number.  Driver’s license fraud is a crime and any person suspected of committing driver license fraud could be charged with a variety of violations of federal and/or state laws.

Many people are still a little too relaxed when it comes to protecting their purses and wallets.  Every day, cars are broken into with purses or wallets in plain view of the thief.  It doesn’t take long for the thief to wreak havoc on your identity.

In order to re-establish your driver’s license identity, you can take the following steps:

1.) Contact the DMV in your state and let them know about your situation.

2.) If the fraud is valid, request another driver’s license number.

3.) You should report this identity theft to your local police department

4.) When you report the fraud, make sure that you provide as much detailed information as you can.

Remember to contact your insurance company or companies, your credit card providers, your banks and any other business or company that might still have your old license number.  It’s a good idea to take care of this quickly to prevent any future problems with the businesses or companies that you do business with.

Choose a comprehensive identity theft program with a legal service plan that complements it.  If someone's a victim of identity theft, they're going to need to get an attorney involved that specializes in identity theft issues as well.  When the rubber meets the road, most identity theft providers will send a kit in the mail when you become a victim of identity theft.  Getting a kit in the mail means that you'll be making all the calls and doing all the footwork.  Identity Theft is the fastest growing crime in North America.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that there are 9 million victims of fraud each year.  There were 11.1 million victims of identity theft last year alone.  The average time it takes an individual to resolve an identity theft situation on their own is 55 to 130 hours and between $1200.00 and $5000.00 in out-of-pocket expenses to resolve.  Look for a company that is a true leader in the risk consulting industry with licensed, experienced professionals and a proven identity theft product.  There is no way to stop identity theft but you can minimize your risk by choosing an identity theft plan that offers 24/7 credit monitoring and a plan that provides "full restoration" services should your identity be stolen.

About the Author

Andre' Andropolis is an independent associate and employee benefit specialist with Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc., and operates his business from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Andre's focus is on offering Pre-Paid Legal and the Identity Theft Shield to companies as an employee benefit.  Plans are also available to individuals and families outside of a company setting.  For more information, please contact Andre' at 877-400-6693 or visit his websites at:

www.prepaidlegal.com/hub/andrej

 

The Company:

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