The Iowa Department of Transportation will send new driver’s licenses to many people who got a new card in the last month and-a-half, after learning many of the licenses violate provisions of a federal Homeland Security law. The D-O-T’s Dena Gray-Fisher explains a federal terrorism-prevention law forbids using a driver’s Social Security number as the drivers-license number printed on the card. It only affects people who have their Social Security number on a driver’s license or state-issued ID card that was issued after December 17, 2005.
License holders don’t have to do anything to have the number corrected, Fisher says. It’s not something people will have to worry about, as anybody who got their license on December 17 or after will be sent a new one, via certified mail. Even license holders who didn’t just get a new one might take this opportunity to rethink the number they’re using right now on their legal I.D.
Gray-Fisher explains for years drivers have had the option to choose an assigned ID number on their card, instead of the 9-digit Social Security number issued by the federal government. There is some threat of fraud and identity threat in having your social security number on the driver’s license, so she says anybody who wants it changed can come in to any drivers-license office and get a duplicate license…with a state-issued number, for just one dollar.
The federal law forbids using the social-security number on any state-issued document, though she says holders should hang onto the old card till a new one arrives in the mail. “Really, it’s not very wise today to have your social-security number on your checks or on other types of documentation.” The state law will be changed to comply with the federal “Real I.D. Act of 2005” and to say that Iowans will no longer be allowed to use their Social Security number on their driver’s license.