Department of Motor Vehicles

Controls Over the Issuance of Driverís Licenses and Non-Driver Identifications

Driverís licenses and non-driver identifications are issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles at more than 100 local offices. Proof of identity must be provided by applicants seeking the documents. We examined the controls over the issuance of the documents and determined that they may be issued to applicants who have not stated their true identity. In particular, the social security numbers provided by many applicants did not appear to be valid, and in some instances may have been stolen or fabricated. We also identified social security numbers that were used by at least ten, and as many as 30, differently named applicants. While most of the questionable transactions that we identified required further review to determine whether they were legitimate, we were able to determine that driverís licenses were fraudulently obtained by at least two individuals. We recommended that the other questionable transactions we identified be thoroughly reviewed by the Department.

When we reviewed practices at the local offices, we found that they did not always take the actions required by the Department to verify the applicantís identity. For example, 10 of the 12 offices we visited did not compare the applicant to his or her digital photograph, even though this photograph was on file. We also determined that local office requirements could be strengthened and additional actions could be taken by the Departmentís central office in its efforts to identify invalid social security numbers on file. Department officials stated they had taken steps to improve controls during our audit and planned to make further improvements.

For a complete copy of Report 2001-S-12 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.