Your driver’s license has your personal information. So, that means it can be the perfect tool for identity thieves.
The Identity Theft Resource Center states that the driver’s licenses of more than 150 million U.S. citizens have been compromised in the last four years. Unfortunately, the threat of identity fraud through your driver’s license is very real.
Here’s how a driver’s license can be used for identity theft and tips on how to help protect yourself.
How Do I Know If Someone is Using My Driver’s License Information?
Most people don’t find out immediately if their driver’s license information is being used by someone else.
You may only find out while applying for a new license, renewing your old one or by running a background check. Or, law enforcement might notify you if there is suspicious activity occurring that is traced back to your driver’s license.
If you are suspicious of your driver’s license being used for fraudulent activity, you can:
- Conduct a thorough background check through a reputable company
- Go through your official driving records
- Go over your credit reports to ensure no new fraudulent credit card accounts have been opened under your name.
Where To Report a Lost Driver’s License?
If you have lost your driver’s license, it is important to report it immediately. Here is how you can report your lost driver’s license:
Notify Your Local Law Enforcement Agency
- Call the police’s helpline number for non-emergencies or visit the nearest police office
- File an official complaint about losing your license
- Describe in detail where and how you lost your license
- Keep a copy of the police report yourself.
Check Your State’s Requirements for Reporting a Missing or Stolen Driver’s License
Although notifying the police is sufficient in most cases, some states require you to contact other agencies such as the Secretary of State office or the License Integrity Unit.
Notify The Local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
Notify the local DMV office so that they can flag your driver’s license number. This way, your driver’s license cannot be used by anyone else for fraudulent activity.
Once you have notified the relevant authorities about your missing license, it is time to get a replacement. This can be done through the following steps:
- Check the DMV website for the proper procedure for a replacement license
- Collect all the appropriate personal documents needed
- Fill out the replacement form completely
- Submit all paperwork and pay the fees.
Once your replacement driver’s license is ready, you will be notified or it will be mailed to you.
Reporting Identity Theft
If you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft, you must file a report with the relevant authorities immediately. You can notify your local police and file a report with Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This can be done via phone or online. The FTC will collect all relevant details of the case before taking formal action.
Although having your driver’s license stolen can be difficult, if appropriate action is taken, you can recover from it. Identity theft is on the rise. The government has laws and resources to apprehend perpetrators of identity fraud and help victims. The most important steps are to alert the authorities in time, keep all personal documents that verify your identity safe and monitor your personal data.
It’s essential to stay on top of your personal information by monitoring your identity and credit, so you can help stay ahead of identity thieves.