NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Security Clamp-Down on Driver's Licenses

October 16, 2001

The ease with which as many as five of the Sept. 11 hijackers fraudulently obtained driver's licenses or state identification cards is forcing many states to tighten procedures for obtaining such documents in the future.

Foreign-born applicants will come under especially tough scrutiny, experts say, and several states plan to close loopholes which allowed immigrants to use Immigration and Naturalization Service documents to prove residency.

  • New York state plans to use a software program that randomly freezes a DMV employee's computer and then allows a supervisor to oversee and verify the paperwork and identification process.
  • Abandoning a system which allowed applicants to use sworn statements to verify identity and residence, Virginia will require a passport or utility bill.
  • Foreigners applying for ID cards in Wisconsin will have to fill out a document stating when they arrived in the country and when they are scheduled to leave.
  • States are also considering limiting the number of replacement driver's licenses they issue.

The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators is pushing for a nationwide driver's licensing system.

Source: Scott Bowles, "State DMVs Get Stricter on IDs, Driver's Licenses," USA Today, October 16, 2001.

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