Protect Yourself from Driver's License Identity Theft

Driver's license fraud can be categorized in a few ways.  It may consist of an individual submitting documents to obtain a license in someone else's name or the bold act of identity theft.  Driver's license identity theft is a serious crime that can lead to a number of violations according to state and federal laws.  Here are just a few of the many charges a thief may face if suspected of this crime: 

           1st degree forgery

           2nd degree forgery 

           identity theft 

           possession of multiple identification cards 

           making false statements on the application for a driver's license

           fraudulent use of a driver's license
 

Prevention Tips 

Though all types of identity theft are on the rise, there is no need for you to become the next victim. Just as you would guard your Social Security card, a driver's license should be protected in the same manner.  

In many instances, there may be individuals who request that you leave a driver's license with them.  This is typically the case when you are test driving a car or apartment shopping.  Your driver's license should never be used as a form of collateral or security deposit.  Also keep in mind that a respectable sales person will usually not make this type of request.  Don't be afraid to test them - tell them that you're not comfortable leaving your license because a friend was victimized by identity theft.  The resulting action or response may determine the legitimacy of their efforts.  

Individuals should certainly take advantage of technology in the many automated renewal options.  This enables them to easily renew a driver's license via telephone, mail or internet.  It is also a good idea to destroy an old license upon receiving the replacement by mail to keep others from intercepting it and stealing your identity. 

Copies of your driving record can usually be purchased for minimal fee.  This will detail any tickets that have not been issued directly to you, as well as any other fraudulent behavior. 

You should also remember this: just because an individual or business asks for your license, it does not mean you have to oblige.  Try your luck by asking for other options of validation and see what the response is.  In most cases, there are really few legitimate reasons for someone to keep possession of your driver's license while you're both in separate locations.

Anyone can be a victim of identity theft.  Being careless with a driver's license is a path that leads directly to it.  Your license should be guarded at all times to keep your personal information secure.  While you may not realize it, the information your driver's license contains can prove just as beneficial in the process of identity theft as the information obtained from a Social Security number or credit card. 
 

Reporting Driver's License Identity Theft

Fully aware of the dangers concerning driver's license identity theft, many agencies have established support systems for reporting suspected criminal activity.  They typically require a victim to include a name, date of birth, driver's license number and contact information.  The system may also require details concerning the suspect or any information regarding the identity theft situation. 

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Identity theft comes in many forms.

A person\92s identity can be 'borrowed' for the purpose of creating fictional credit cards or a person\92s entire identity can be usurped to the point where they can have difficulty proving that they really are who they claim to be.

Up to 18% of identity theft victims take as long as four years to realize that their identity has been stolen.

There are many ways to protect your personal identity and many steps you can take to prevent your identity from being stolen:

*Never give out unnecessary personal information
*Never provide bank details or social security numbers over the Internet
*Always remain aware of who is standing behind you when you type in your personal credit codes at ATM machines and at supermarket checkout swipe machines.