The security of your personal information is extremely important, especially when this information can be used for identity theft. While the most common pieces of information people secure are social security numbers, credit card numbers, and bank account numbers, your driver's license is also susceptible to identity theft.
How a Driver's License Can Be Used for Identity Theft Purposes
Now more than ever, states are storing a number of identity items on your driver's license. From your birthday to home address and full name, any simple bar code scanner can pull up the information within a matter of seconds, and now the perpetrator who stole your license can create an identical identity with your name and their picture.
Savvy identity thefts can use your driver's license to help obtain other information on you if they have access to the right systems. They have the potential to look up your social security number, credit report, financial information, and more.
One of the more common identity theft issues is when someone steals a driver's license along with a checkbook or an entire wallet full of debit cards and credit cards.
By simply changing the picture on the driver's license to look more like them, the thief has created a way for them to use your credit cards and write checks in your name as they see fit. If the thief decides to write checks in your name, they will likely be returned to you because you closed your account when your checkbook and wallet went missing. Checks that are written in your name on a closed account will do a great deal of damage to your name and financial background, and will potentially bring criminal charges to your doorstep.
While you'll be able to clear your name with the proper paperwork and evidence filed with local law enforcement, you'll still have to deal with the banks that were involved by sending them the same information and making numerous phone calls to follow up with your case. Avoid this type of hassle by securing your driver's license, wallet, and checkbook at all times.
Using Your License for Criminal Charges
While it's not as common, criminals use stolen driver's licenses to make new identities for themselves.
These thieves use stolen licenses because they are career criminals and most likely have an extensive criminal record. When the police stop them for a simple traffic violation, they will try to portray themselves as you, and, if successful, will cause a great deal of anxiety and headache by racking up citations under your name.
If you aren't aware that this is happening, you'll begin to receive summonses in the mail, arrest warrants will be issued, and your background will be tarnished for a long time. Furthermore, if you aren't aware that someone has used your license, and a police officer pulls you over, you're going to be in for a nasty surprise and a pair of handcuffs.
A fraudulent criminal record is just as, if not more serious than a fraudulent financial one. To clear up your name, you'll need to contact the DMV in your state and inform them of what happened, speak with the police to begin the process of recovering your good name, and you'll need to contact any credit reporting agencies to have them remove any negative information that now shows up on your report.
Driver's Licence Resources