How to Prevent Driver’s License Identity Theft From Happening
Many people rely on their driver’s license as a primary form of identity. Not only does it enable you to drive, but it contains a lot of personal information. Some of this information includes your birthday, your height and your weight, and other personal identifiers. Although a driver’s license is an extremely handy form of identification, it can also be dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands.
If fraudsters get a hold of your driver’s license, they could open accounts or make purchases in your name. As more and more companies go digital, there is an even greater risk of driver’s license identity theft. But what, exactly, is driver’s license identity theft?
What is Driver’s License Identity Theft?
A steadily increasing form of identity theft is driver’s license identity theft. Driver’s license identity theft occurs when an unauthorized person gets their hands on a driver’s license. They then use this license as their own, or sell it to someone else, after using tech to manipulate the ID photo.
This can have many repercussions. If someone is driving with a fraudulent/duplicate license and receives a ticket, the violation will show up on the victim’s driving record. A thief or fraudster could also open up credit cards, loans, or other accounts in your name using the information from your driver’s license.
You certainly don’t want to become a victim of driver’s license related identity theft. So how can you prevent it?
How To Prevent Driver’s License Identity Theft
There are several steps you can take to ensure your safety from driver’s license identity theft. Some of these include:
- Keep track of your driver’s license, and don’t let it fall into the wrong hands. You should always secure your driver’s license in a protected wallet, which you should try to keep on you at all times. It’s also important to be wary of who you share your driver’s license information with.
- Request your driving records annually, and ensure there are no discrepancies or red flags. You can request your driving records online and check them for inconsistencies. In some states this is free of charge, while in others there is a minor fee.
- Don’t use your driver’s license as collateral, unless absolutely necessary. Many businesses will request a form of identification as collateral when offering their services. Some examples of this are when you’re staying at a hotel, test driving a car, or even renting an apartment. Although it is common practice for these businesses to request your license as collateral, in many cases it isn’t required. If you explain your hesitancy, the business you’re dealing with may work with you to find another form of collateral.
- Take advantage of auto renewal services for your driver’s license. Not only is this a quicker and easier process than the in-person alternative, it also reduces the risk of human error that could jeopardize your personal information.
Take Proactive Steps To Secure Your Identity
Before anything bad can happen, you should take any action you can to secure your identity. You can do this by:
- Protect your Social Security Number. You should always keep your SSN in a safe, protected place. Do not carry it around with you and only produce it when needed.
- Freeze your credit. You can do this online for free. This prevents new lines of credit from being opened in your name – and you can unfreeze it whenever you’d like.
- Use strong, unique passwords for your online accounts. You should never repeat your passwords, or use a predictable password. This will keep scammers from accessing your accounts.
- Set up smart alerts through your financial institution. These will inform you when any changes are made to your banking accounts, so you can stay on top of fishy activity.
What To Do If You Become A Victim Of Driver’s License Identity Theft
So you took all the suggested preventative measures, but something still went wrong. The most important thing to do is take action immediately. Make sure to:
- Call your debit and credit card issuers. It’s important to inform these parties that your driver’s license was stolen, so they can follow their security protocol. You may need to freeze your accounts, or have new cards issued.
- File a police report. Not only could this help with the recovery of your license, you may need an official paper trail for this theft in the future.
- Report your license as missing to your local DMV. They can help you with the next steps, such as re-issuing your driver’s license.
- Consider changing the locks or increasing security at your personal home. Remember: your address is on your driver’s license, and it’s now in someone else’s hands.
By taking driver’s license identity theft seriously, you’re already one step closer to a more protected identity. Whether your driver’s license is stolen or misplaced, it’s important to assume the worst case scenario and take the necessary security steps.
Hopefully by taking steps to protect your license, you can avoid becoming a victim of driver’s license identity theft. And if something goes wrong? Now you know what to do.
At iLock360, we offer specialized solutions in identity theft prevention and credit monitoring specifically tailored to help you protect yourself against any form of driver’s license identity theft with our innovative tools and technologies.