Local News

DMV Issuing Letters to People With Unverified SSNs

Posted February 5, 2008
Updated February 6, 2008

— The state Division of Motor Vehicles is sending letters to 4,454 people who have driver's licenses but who the department's records show have incorrect Social Security numbers.

They have 60 days to verify their identities or risk losing their licenses. People who do not respond within the 60-day period will get a second letter and have a final 30 days to verify who they are or have their licenses canceled.

DMV Commissioner William C. Gore Jr. said Tuesday that the first round of letters started going out to motorists this month.

The verification effort follows a state audit last March that found nearly 27,000 licensed drivers' applications that did not match Social Security numbers. Many of those licenses had been issued prior to 2004, when the DMV linked to a federal Social Security data base to verify a driver's identification.

Many of the nearly 27,000 licenses were later found to be either expired or already revoked. The remaining 4,454 drivers who are getting letters now are a small percentage of the state's 6.3 million licensed drivers.

The audit came partly in response to criticism that the state DMV was not doing enough to prevent non-citizens from getting driver's licenses.

The General Assembly didn't start requiring a license applicant to prove he or she was in the country legally until last year.

As part of the "REAL ID" Act recently approved by Congress, driver's license holders will have to reaffirm their identity, home address and right to be in the country. The requirement starts late this year.


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  • VT1994Hokie Feb 6, 2008

    Anyone moving to the USA, and they don't have proper and legal papers should be arrested. How in this world can we keep on letting this stuff happen to us? How can the DMV's grant a license to someone that doesn't have the papers? I hate everytime I read stuff like this.

    They probably have the worst records when it comes to DUI's. And, they are killing us.

  • jet Feb 6, 2008

    Update for the reader that said his ssn was on the drivers license.

    The new license they issue now does not have the ssn printed on it.

  • JessGH Feb 6, 2008

    No one thinks that the letters being mailed out will do any good, they are purely a legal gesture, and no one thinks illegal aliens will suddenly stop driving without the license. This is all just a way to "flag" them whenever they have to provide proof of ID for a routine traffic stop, job application, etc. Although I DID get a good laugh about the invasion of privacy rant about phone calls being recorded. They only check the calls of suspected criminals, not Joe and Jane Smith. Logistically it would be impossible to Big Brother everyone. Maybe back in the day of party lines and Mayberry and everyone knowing everyone's business. Oh, I forgot - it's just NOW that privacy is a problem.

  • scot30 Feb 6, 2008

    They can't force you to give your SSN to them. By law, you only have to provide your SSN to anyone who is required to report income that you receive to the IRS. This includes your employer (for your salary), banks (for interest/dividends you receive), etc. You are NOT required to give it to your doctor's office, credit card companies, when signing up for utilities, cable TV, cell phone companies, etc as they do not report income that you receive to the IRS. DMV does not report income that you receive to the IRS (unless you work for them), so they are no different. The SSN has turned into a universal ID number for citizens of the USA, which was not its original purpose and by law still is not its purpose.

  • PDMARTIN Feb 6, 2008

    I hope all I have to do is "show" them a SSN because I certainly wouldn't want it ON my license. I don't ever remember having to provide it before.

  • NCGal Feb 6, 2008

    OK folks this is a good start! Time to let Raleigh know from now on it's our way or Trailway.

  • TheWayISeeIt Feb 6, 2008

    I think this shows the major disconnect between states and the federal government. We need to have a national plan and the money to back it up for immigration. The Congress passing a law and leaving states to figure out the financial part creates problems like these.

    Does anyone know if these license problems are more severe in the South and rural areas where one would have to drive to work, as opposed to the Northeast or urban areas where the public transport is better and actually exists?

  • ladyblue Feb 6, 2008

    This situation does not surprise me with the report that NC was allowing so many undocumented people get licenses and not thoroughly checking them. I am glad we may go to a different system in the future with more security...

  • yukonjohn3 Feb 6, 2008

    Something I absolutely cannot figure out....not ONE comment about the fact that SSAN's are on drivers lic. ANYWAY!!! Driving has NOTHING to do with employment!!! The state of NC is NOT the IRS!! I have not had my SSAN on my drivers lic in 20 yrs. They told me I had to have it and I told them "ok, then keep the lic." They gave me my lic. without the SSAN on it...it just has 000-00-0000. SSAN has NOTHING TO DO with driving!!

  • busyb97 Feb 6, 2008

    Bush did not single-handedly create a 'big brother' government. Do you honestly think that things have not been monitored long before Bush showed up? They have been monitoring more than you can imagine. They are just a little more open about a few key areas. And I think it's great the DMV is trying to do SOMETHING. Between illegals on the road (which they will do no matter what), and identity theft so prevalent, it may seem insignificant, but it's quite a monster to take on and actually defeat! If they took the steps REALLY required to do what you expect them to do, you'll be screaming they are violating your rights or something.
    You can't please ALL of the people ALL of the time, and in some cases, I think some people just like to beitch about everything no matter which side of the fence it is on.

    *By the way- the House/Senate have to approve alot of things Bush does....and how many democrats are in office these days??*