Policy change for first time driver license applicants will reduce fraud


The Department of Licensing is updating its proof of residence policy in an effort aimed at reducing the numbers of individuals that fraudulently receive a Washington driver license.

 State law requires individuals to have a valid Washington residence address to obtain a Washington driver license or ID card.

The agency will require proof of a Washington residence address if an applicant does not provide a verified Social Security number at a driver licensing office. The documents provided will be copied and later verified by agency staff to ensure that they are valid. After that validation, a permanent license will be issued.

The change is effective Monday, Nov. 8.

“This is another in a series of steps we’ve taken to clamp down on license fraud and ensure that people are Washington residents if they’re getting a license,” said DOL director Liz Luce.

A full list of document requirements to prove residence address is available at the agency’s website. They include: rental or lease agreements, bank-issued documents showing residence address and name or specific auto insurance policy information.

Last month, the agency implemented expanded use of facial recognition technology, developed with the Enhanced Driver License program, to safeguard regular driver licenses and ID cards. Design changes have also been made to the driver license — by shifting the picture to the left side, placing an identical but smaller, shaded photo on the right and adding other security measures, licenses and ID cards will be more difficult to fake.

5 Responses to Policy change for first time driver license applicants will reduce fraud

  1. Vicky Whiteman says:

    Relatives related that they have witnessed supposed “illegal aliens” get drivers licenses without showing any ID or proof of residence.

    Is the new regulation (Nov 8) requiring proof of WA State residence a response to this type of innane rules?

    Are my relatives correct? Or is there more to know re drivers licenses and “aliens” legal or not?

    I would appreciate your response.

    Thank you

    • DOL Blog says:

      Anyone applying for a driver license in our state must provide proof of their identity and take the appropriate knowledge and skills tests for driving. Folks who do not provide their Social Security number for verification with the federal Social Security Administration also are required to provide proof of their Washington state residence address.

  2. Mark Bezinque says:

    Vicky, I hope you have better luck getting a response from the DOL Blog then I have. (Off-Road/ORV DOL Blog) I have requested responses on several questions/comments… heck even got a verbal promise from Glenn Ball (DOL) and Toni Wilson (DOL) on 10-25 and 10-26-2010, but I am still waiting. Until the managers of this organization change my mind… my opinion is the WSDOL process is out of control and makes false statements about how they correct and conduct business.

  3. JOEL. M says:

    IN HOPE OF GETTING ANY AWNSER!!
    WHAT WOULD THE PENALTY BE IF COUGHT WITH FRAUD?
    THANKS U!!

    • DOL Blog says:

      Typically, state residency fraud will lead to cancellation of the driver license or ID card and that record being flagged. Some cases of fraud, though, are turned over to federal, state or local law enforcement for investigation and/or criminal prosecution.

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