Identity Theft & Driver License Fraud Protection
The Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is committed to protecting the integrity of the identity documents issued by the agency. In order to prevent the issuance of driver licenses and identification cards to people who are not eligible to receive these documents, the DHSMV has enacted stringent requirements relating to the documents that must be presented in order for a customer to prove his/her identity, residency, and citizenship or lawful presence in the United States. We also train our staff to recognize counterfeit and/or fraudulent identity documents. Additionally, we employ a staff of analysts who investigate allegations of driver license fraud.
What is driver license fraud?
Driver license fraud includes the use of another person’s identity, the submission of counterfeit identity documents, and all other activities intended to obtain a driver license or identification card by a person or for a person who is not eligible for issuance of such a document.
- Presentation of counterfeit immigration documents (such as an I-94 or “green card”) by an undocumented alien who is not eligible for a Florida driver license or identification card.
- Presentation of a counterfeit birth certificate or social security card created on a personal computer by scanning a legitimate document and printing it out on a color printer after changing the identity information.
Presentation of a legitimate birth certificate belonging to another person.
The following are samples of Florida ID Card, Florida Driver License, Florida Under 21 ID Card, & Florida Under 21 Driver License:
Driver license fraud is a crime. Anyone suspected of committing driver license fraud may be charged with any of a number of violations of state and/or federal law, including, but not limited to the following:
- Section 322.212, Florida Statutes
- Section 322.27 (1)(d), Florida Statutes
- Section 322.32, Florida Statutes
- Section 322.33, Florida Statutes
Although making and using fake ID’s are a crime, it is not considered driver license or identification card fraud until such documents are used to obtain a driver license or identification card.
Ticket fraud is not driver license fraud. If you discover that someone else used your identity when they received a citation, and there is a conviction and/or license suspension on your driving record for an offense that you did not commit, this is not driver license fraud. The DHSMV cannot remove a fraudulent citation from your driving record without the authorization of the court that submitted the conviction, and you must contact the court to prove to them that you were not the person cited. However, the DHSMV will provide you with information about the citation and contact information for the court to help you begin this process.
How can I report driver license fraud? In an effort to make it easier for concerned citizens and employees to assist our Analysts in thwarting driver license fraud, the DHSMV has set up an e-mail address for the reporting of suspected criminal activity. Customers and employees of the DHSMV can e-mail request for a fraud investigation to: firstname.lastname@example.org to report fraud directly to the Fraud Section. Fraudulent activity also may be reported by phone to (850) 617-2405. When reporting suspected driver license fraud, please try to include the victim’s name, date of birth, driver license or identification card number, social security number, and contact information. If you are not the victim, please include your contact information. Also, any information about the suspect or the circumstances surrounding the fraud should be provided. You can access the “Fraud Investigation Request” form by clicking here.
FOR VICTIMS OF IDENTITY THEFT:
The theft of your identity may not involve driver license fraud, but the DHSMV wants to help you in any way that we can. First, contact your local law enforcement agency and make a police report. This is the first step to getting help from many state and federal agencies.
If you are the victim of identity fraud, and the thief has used your driver license or identification card number, please note that consumers release their driver license and identification card numbers to banks, stores, check verification companies, and dozens of other merchants every day.
Can I change the number on my driver license or identification card? No, unless there is a name change. The driver license/identification card number is based on your name, date of birth and gender. In the event you have a name change that causes your license or ID card number to change, please be sure to share the new number with your car insurance agent, your bank, and other financial institutions that use that number to identify you.
You may wish to have a “Verify ID Flag” placed on your driver record. Listed below are some ways this flag can be helpful in preventing this person from continuing to pretend to be you.
- Law enforcement will know that someone may be using your identity. The officer should require two or more pieces of identification from the person. However, if you are stopped by law enforcement, you too will be required to produce the pieces of identification.
- All of Florida’s driver licensing agents will know that someone may be using your identity. If someone tries to get a driver license or ID card in your name, our agents will require two or more pieces of identification before being issued. Again, you too must provide two pieces of identification.
- When a court sends information to place on your driver record, we will mail you a letter. This letter will give you 45 days to contact the court involved and prove that you were not the person involved before we add the information to your record.
If you would like this flag added to your record, please send us a written request to the following address:
Bureau of Motorist Services Support
Fraud Section, Mail Stop 84, Room A327
2900 Apalachee Parkway
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0500
What to do if you are a victim of Identity Theft
- Immediately call the fraud units of the three credit reporting companies: Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. Ask that your file be flagged with a fraud alert.
- Contact all creditors immediately with whom your name has been used fraudulently by phone and in writing. The Federal Trade Commission provides a uniform affidavit form that most creditors accept.
- Report the crime to your local police, sheriff’s office or Florida Highway Patrol Bureau of Investigations office.
- Notify the local Postal Inspector if you suspect an identity thief has filed a change of your address with the post office or has used the mail to commit fraud.
- Contact the Social Security Administration to report fraudulent use of your Social Security Number.
- Contact the passport office to alert them to anyone ordering a passport fraudulently in your name whether you have a passport or not.
- Call the fraud unit of the Division of Driver Licenses to see if another license has been issued in your name.
How to protect yourself from Identity Theft:
- Citizens who take advantage of the DHSMV automated renewal options, including renewal by phone, mail and the Internet, are reminded to shred or otherwise destroy their old licenses and identification cards when they receive the replacement license or card by mail. This will prevent identity thieves from stealing your personal information.
- Purchase a copy of your driving record annually to see if the DHSMV shows tickets that were not issued to you just as you would review your credit report for fraudulent activity.
- Do not leave mail in your mailbox overnight, and stop your mail delivery if you are going to be away from home.
- Do not carry extra credit cards, your Social Security card, passport or birth certificate except when absolutely necessary. Install a locked mailbox at your residence or use a post office box to reduce the chance of mail theft.
- Pick up new checks at your bank.
- Do not leave paid bills in your mailbox for the postal carrier to pick up.
- Ask your financial institutions to add extra security protection to your account. Most will allow you to use an additional code when accessing your account.
- Protect your Social Security Number at all costs. Do not let merchants write your SSN on your checks. Request merchants to use other forms of identification.
- Never allow credit card numbers to be written on your checks.
- Do not use your birth date or mother’s maiden name as PIN numbers or passwords.
- Remove your name from the marketing lists of the three credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. This will reduce the number of pre-approved credit offers you receive in the mail.
Shred all paperwork with financial and personal information on it before throwing it in the garbage.
Identity theft links and contacts:
Website provides information about identity theft and many other types of fraud.
This central site allows you to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Federal Trade Commission
(877) ID-THEFT or (877) 438-4338
The Federal Trade Commission website provides information to “deter, detect, and defend” against identity theft. The website also provides helpful links for victims of identity theft.
Postal Inspection Service
Social Security Administration
Social Security Administration website provides information about and guidelines for reporting Social Security fraud.
Florida Attorney General
Credit Reporting Companies:
http://www.equifax.com/ (800) 525-6285
http://www.experian.com/ (888) 397-3742
http://www.transunion.com/ (800) 680-7289
Check Verification Companies:
Identify Theft Report Form
A form to report driver license fraud or identity theft.
Identity Theft . . . What to Do If Your Identity is Stolen
“I don’t remember opening that credit card account. And I certainly didn’t buy those items I’m being billed for.”
Driver Privacy Protection Act
Florida residents have the right to protect personal information in their driver license and motor vehicle records from disclosure. A number of exceptions were specified by law; those individuals/businesses will continue to have access to the data.
Protecting Yourself from Consumer Fraud
This comprehensive list from the Attorney General includes loans, auto repair & purchases, health, identity theft, Internet e-mail & shopping, investing, employment, price gouging, rain checks, sweepstakes, smoking, titles, toys, weight-loss, and many more.
U.S. government central website for information about identity theft
This website is maintained by the Federal Trade Commission. It contains government reports and Congressional testimony, law enforcement updates, and links to other sites with helpful information about identity theft.