The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) is committed to protecting the integrity of the identity documents issued by the agency. In order to prevent the issuance of driver's licenses and identification cards to people who are not eligible to receive these documents, the DDS has enacted stringent requirements relating to the documents that must be presented in order for a customer prove his/her identity, residency, and citizenship or lawful status in the United States. We also train our staff to recognize counterfeit and/or fraudulent identity documents. Additionally, we employ a staff of law enforcement officers who investigate allegations of driver's license fraud.
What is driver's license fraud? Driver's license fraud includes the use of another person’s identity, the submission of counterfeit identity documents, and all other activities intended to obtain a driver's license or identification card by a person or for a person who is not eligible for issuance of such a document.
- Presentation of counterfeit immigration documents (such as an I-94 or "green card") by an undocumented alien who is not eligible for a Georgia driver's license or identification card.
- Presentation of a counterfeit birth certificate or social security card created on a personal computer by scanning a legitimate document and printing it out on a color printer after changing the identity information.
- Presentation of a legitimate birth certificate belonging to another person.
Driver's license fraud is a crime. Anyone suspected of committing driver's license fraud may be charged with any of a number of violations of state and/or federal law, including, but not limited to the following:
- O.C.G.A. §16-9-1 Forgery in the 1st degree
- O.C.G.A. §16-9-2 Forgery in the 2nd degree
- O.C.G.A. §16-9-121 Identity Fraud
- O.C.G.A. §16-10-20 Making false statements in a matter within a political subdivision
- O.C.G.A. §40-5-100 Possession of multiple identification cards
- O.C.G.A. §40-5-104 Making a false statement in an application for an ID card
- O.C.G.A. §40-5-120 Fraudulent use of a driver's license or identification card
- O.C.G.A. §40-5-125 Making a false statement in an application for a driver's license
Fake ID's are not driver's license fraud. The creation of counterfeit driver's licenses and identification cards is not driver’s license fraud. The DDS does not investigate allegations that a person has made or used a counterfeit driver's license or "fake ID" unless the complaint involves the actions of a DDS employee or DDS equipment. However, we do work with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to assist with the determination of whether a suspected driver's license or identification card was issued by the agency. Making and using fake ID's are crimes.
Ticket fraud is not driver's license fraud. If you discover that someone else used your identity when they received a citation, and there is a conviction and/or license suspension on your driving record for an offense that you did not commit, this is not driver's license fraud. The DDS cannot remove a fraudulent citation from your driving record without the authorization of the court that submitted the conviction, and you must contact the court to prove to them that you were not the person cited. However, the DDS will provide you with information about the citation and contact information for the court to help you begin this process.
How can I report driver’s license fraud? In an effort to make it easier for concerned citizens and employees to assist our investigators in thwarting driver’s license fraud, the DDS has set up a new e-mail address for the reporting of suspected criminal activity. Customers and employees of the DDS can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to report fraud directly to the Investigative Services Section. Fraudulent activity also may be reported by phone to (678) 413-8766. When reporting suspected driver's license fraud, please try to include the victim's name, date of birth, driver's license or identification card number, social security number, and contact information. If you are not the victim, please include your contact information. Also, any information about the suspect or the circumstances surrounding the fraud should be provided.
FRAUD PREVENTION TIPS:
Citizens who take advantage of the DDS' automated renewal options, including renewal by phone, mail and the internet, are reminded to shred or otherwise destroy their old licenses and identification cards when they receive the replacement license or card by mail. This will prevent identity thieves from stealing your personal information.
Purchase a copy of your driving record annually to see if the DDS shows tickets that were not issued to you just as you would review your credit report for fraudulent activity.
Do not leave mail in your mailbox overnight, and stop your mail delivery if you are going to be away from home.
FOR VICTIMS OF IDENTITY THEFT:
The theft of your identity may not involve driver's license fraud, but the DDS wants to help you in any way that we can. First, contact your local law enforcement agency and make a police report. This is the first step to getting help from many state and federal agencies.
If you are the victim of identity fraud, and the thief has used your driver’s license or identification card number, the DDS is probably not the source of the compromise of your personal information. Consumers release their driver's license and identification card numbers to banks, store, check verification companies, and dozens of other merchants every day. The DDS maintains the highest levels of security for computer data. In addition to examining allegations of driver’s license fraud, our law enforcement staff also conducts background investigations on all employees and internal affairs investigations into allegations of employee misconduct.
Can I change the number on my driver's license or identification card? If your driver's license or identification number has been compromised, the DDS will issue a new license to you with a different license number. Call (678) 413-8766. Victims of license fraud must have a police report that indicates that your driver's license number or identification card number was compromised in order to be eligible to receive a new number.
Additionally, all customers who have used their social security numbers as their license or ID card numbers will be getting a new number on their next renewal after January 1, 2007.
If your license or ID card number changes, please be sure to share the new number with your car insurance agent, your bank, and other financial institutions that use that number to identify you.
Identity theft links and contacts:
Governor's Office of Consumer Protection
(404) 651-8600 (in metro Atlanta)
or (800) 869-1123 (outside the metro area)
Website includes tips for preventing identity theft as well as a comprehensive step-by-step checklist for victims of identity theft.
Federal Trade Commission
(877) ID-THEFT or (877) 438-4338
The Federal Trade Commission website provides information to "deter, detect, and defend" against identity theft. The website also provides helpful links for victims of identity theft.
Postal Inspection Service
Website contains information about mail fraud.
Social Security Administration
Social Security Administration website provides information about and guidelines for reporting Social Security fraud.
Website provides information about identity theft and many other types of fraud.
Credit Reporting Companies:
www.equifax.com (800) 525-6285
www.experian.com (888) 397-3742
www.transunion.com (800) 680-7289
This central site allows you to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
DDS: We C.A.R.E.