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Carson City, NV 89711
Office: (775) 684-4779
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Henderson, NV 89074
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 30, 2010
NEWS FROM: Directors Office 10-012

Advanced Secure Issuance Myths, Facts and Answers
Public Hearings on Advanced Secure Issuance regulations complicated by inaccurate and misunderstood testimony

Myth: The bar code on the back of the license is unencrypted and therefore poses a risk of identity theft – Fact: The bar code on the back of Nevada’s driver’s license has been there since 2002. The only information contained in the bar code is the information readily available on the front of the license. The bar code is a security device. Swiping the bar code and then comparing the information in the bar code to the information on the front of the license ensures that the front of the license has not been altered and the license is not a counterfeit.

Myth: The new Nevada driver’s license that complies with the Real ID Act is a de facto national ID card – Fact: All the Real ID Act requires the Department to do is comply with a minimum standard of identification and to electronically verify documents used to prove identification. Nevada’s standards for identification met the Real ID Act’s requirements long before the Real ID Act was passed. The only change is that to get the new Nevada driver’s license, the documents used to prove identity are electronically verified. It is still a Nevada driver’s license and the documents required to prove identification for new license are the same documents the DMV has been requiring for years.

Myth: The Department is collecting additional information on Nevada citizens as a result of the Real ID Act – Fact: The Department is collecting the same information on Nevada motorists that it has been collecting long before the Real ID Act was passed. A driver’s record contains the same information whether that driver has a news Nevada driver’s license or an old one.The only difference between the cards is that the documents used to prove identity for the new license are verified electronically. The Department requires motorists to present documents proving their name, date of birth and Social Security number. That has been a requirement since 1941 and it has not changed.

Myth: There is a higher risk of identity theft with the new Nevada driver’s license – Fact: Nevada Revised Statues (NRS) and the Real ID Act clearly outline security measures the Department must take to protect the information in its database. No additional information on Nevada citizens is being collected by the Department because it is issuing the new licenses.

Myth: The Real ID Act calls for a national database of driver information – Fact: IT DOES NOT. There is no national database linked to the Real ID Act. Ironically, banks and credit agencies have far more information on individuals than any DMV does.

Myth: The Real ID Act calls for a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Chip to be embedded in Nevada driver’s licenses – Fact: IT DOES NOT. The Department’s regulations clearly prohibit the use of an RFID chip.

Myth: The new driver’s licenses will not stop terrorism – Fact: It’s not a complete solution but it is a piece of the puzzle. It’s certainly easier to catch terrorists if they are required to prove their identity. The Real ID Act also enhances protections against identity theft and a whole range of crimes such as welfare fraud. It enables states to enforce the “one driver, one license” concept by verifying whether a motorist holds licenses in multiple states.

Myth: The Nevada Legislature has rejected the Real ID Act – Fact: The 2005 Legislature unanimously passed a law (Assembly Bill 584) authorizing the Department to pursue compliance with the Real ID Act.

Question: Why now? Why not wait for the next legislative session – Answer: Because the Real ID Act is the law and the Department was well on the way to complying with the Act before the Act was passed. The Department already had identity standards that met the Federal standards and was issuing a driver’s license and ID card that was one of the toughest in the nation to counterfeit. Additionally, the Department was able to secure $4.4 million in Federal grants to fund the project.

Question: Why do I have to prove who I am just to be able to drive? – Answer: All states have a standard of identity for issuing driver’s licenses and ID cards, some more strict than others. Identity standards are in place to keep bad drivers off the road. It’s also helps law enforcement catch criminals. Without identity standards, a dangerous driver would be able to simply secure a license in another name. Presently, there are 50 states with 50 different identity standards. The Real ID Act sets a national minimum standard for state-issued licenses and IDs.

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