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BMV to improve security of Driver’s Licences and ID cards

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INDIANAPOLIS – The SecureID initiative to combat identity theft and enhance the security of driver’s licenses and ID cards was announced today by Andy Miller, Commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). These major new actions are the result of the 9/11 Commission recommendations and related Federal laws.

Miller emphasized, “The BMV will comply fully with the spirit and letter of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and related Federal laws and regulations. The 9/11 Commission noted that ‘sources of identification are the last opportunity to ensure that people are who they say they are,’ and we know that our BMV-issued credentials are the most frequently used source of identification for Hoosiers.”

“Identity theft and fraud is the fastest growing crime in the United States, and government-issued documents like our driver’s licenses and ID cards are targets for people who commit these crimes. In fact, the BMV today has over 500 active cases of identity theft or fraud.”

Miller explained that effective January 1, 2010, all Hoosiers will need to complete three simple steps when renewing, amending or applying for a new driver’s license or ID card: 1. Assemble appropriate documents proving their identity, 2. Present those documents at a local license branch, and 3. Receive their driver’s license or ID in the mail after security checks are complete. He emphasized that drivers needing to renew their licenses in later years will follow these procedures on their normal renewal dates.

Step 1: All Hoosiers planning to renew, amend or apply for a new driver’s license or ID card will be required to present documents verifying their identities, Indiana addresses, Social Security numbers and legal status. The most common documents to meet the four requirements include:

Identity – Birth certificate, U.S. Passport, marriage certificate for name change

Social Security number – Social Security card, W-2 form

Lawful status – Birth certificate, U.S. Passport

Address – Bank statement, utility bill

The complete list of acceptable documents is on the BMV Web site at myBMV.IN.gov. There is also a link to Vital Records offices in other states where certified birth certificates may be obtained. Customers are advised that it may take several months to receive a birth certificate from some states.

Step 2: Starting January 2010, all customers renewing, amending or securing a new driver’s license or ID card will need to visit a local license branch and present all of the required documents. These documents will only need to be presented one time, meaning that future renewals will be handled as they are today. The BMV will continue the current requirement for documentation with a name or address change.

Step 3: To enhance security even further, after January 1, 2010, driver’s licenses, ID cards and permits will be mailed to customers and no longer produced at the license branches. Customers will be issued an interim document at the branch and will receive the permanent document in the mail within 10 business days.

This central issuance process is being used by 20 other states. During this process all of the driver’s application documents are sent to a government-run secured print shop where their validity is checked against national databases and then the driver’s licenses, ID cards and permits are printed. They are mailed from the print shop to the customers using the same secure mailing procedures used by the U.S. Passport Service, credit card companies, banks, and other states currently issuing centrally. The myBMV.IN.gov Web site will allow a BMV customer to track the processing, mailing and delivery dates of the license, permit or ID card.

Central issuance allows for a complete review of all documents. Attempts at identity theft and fraud can be detected before the permanent card is issued. This step can help virtually eliminate situations like the David Grice case where he successful acquired six ID cards under six different names or Claudia Andrade who was recently convicted for a bank theft in Indiana and had 11 different identity documents issued by the BMV.

Miller added that BMV will extensively publicize the new document requirements using direct mail, email, and advertising. Letters will be mailed to all customers with a driver’s license renewal date in 2010 early this fall. A second reminder letter will be mailed 30-45 days before their renewal date. An insert will also be included in all registration renewal notices.

He concluded, “After January 1, we are asking Hoosiers to help us protect them and others from identity theft and fraud. These new document requirements and mail delivery procedures will allow us time to more carefully check the identity verification documents and ensure applicants are who they say they are.”

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