Local News

DMV admits possible disclosure of personal info

Posted April 4

— State Division of Motor Vehicles officials said Tuesday that about 24,000 people may be at risk for identity theft because of a mistake in one of the agency's Raleigh offices.

DMV workers were supposed to shred forms daily containing people's names, addresses, dates of birth and some Social Security numbers, but because the shredder at the DMV office on Spring Forest Road was broken, the forms were left in boxes for weeks. Cleaning staff mistook the boxes for trash and threw them out on March 8.

David Howard, a deputy secretary of the state Department of Transportation, said agency officials have spent recent weeks trying to determine how far back the forms went. He said they believe it didn't go beyond January, but they are notifying everyone who visited the office since September that their information may have been compromised.

"We have no indication that any outside individuals or groups gained access to personal information," Howard said. "What we want to do is make sure the public knows that we are their partner in this, and if for some reason they do have an issue, we’re here."

He said the office manager will face disciplinary action, and the DMV is retraining staff on the proper protocol for handing and disposing of documents.

Still, Ted Brown, who visited the Spring Forest Road office on Tuesday, said he now is hesitant about providing personal information to the DMV.

"They’re a state agency. You would think that they would protect your information so it’s not compromised or stolen," Brown said. "In today’s world, that’s not too much to ask for – that your information be kept safe."

People affected are advised to monitor their financial accounts online, sign up for transaction alerts, check credit reports and, when a Social Security number is involved, consider a credit freeze.

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