The truth is, an imposter can use your Driver’s License or State ID number to impersonate you. While they can’t open a credit card or mortgage account with your driver’s license, they can write your license number on a check, give your license number (without having the actual license) to a police officer at a traffic stop, or manufacture a license with your number to pass off to those who require ID, such as in bars, employers or police.
Keep in mind that your license number is the only piece of information that is needed to commit fraud, your name, address, and date of birth are not required to steal your identity.
The best thing to do is to safeguard your driver’s license information. Don’t let anyone but government officials to scan or swipe your license unless they are required to by law (checking ID at a bar, buying medicine, employment or rental property.)
It’s also a bad idea to have your license number automatically written at the top of your checks because if they were to end up in the wrong hands, it could result in years of check fraud problems. Check fraud is a felony and could lead to a warrant if you are not careful.
If your license or state ID is lost or stolen, make sure to report the event to the police, either as an incident report or theft report. Afterward, make sure to speak to your state’s DMV or licensing agency and ask them to place a flag on your license number. This way, law enforcement is alarmed to be extra careful in identifying a person they may have pulled over.
If you suspect that your license has been used, you can find out further information through these three ways:
- Background Check
Police, government agencies, and financial institutions report activity to background check companies. Talk to your local law enforcing about what companies are reputable and accurate for background checks, especially when it comes to criminal activity. Of course, you will have to show your local law enforcement that fraud has taken place before giving you a background check.
- Official Driving Record
The agency for your state that handles driver’s licenses (usually the DMV or BMV) keeps a record of all traffic violations associated with your license number. You can ask them to mail you a copy and then look it over for anything suspicious. Keep in mind that most states charge a fee which is usually around $10.
- Consumer Reports from Check Verification Companies
Like Credit Reporting Agencies, the Check Verification Companies keep track of what checks have been written and attributed to your driver’s license. You can also get your reports for free from these three agencies: ChexSystems (800) 428-9623, Certegy (800) 437-5120, and TeleCheck (800) 366-2425.
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