Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Illinois DMV loophole enabling fraudsters!

This is a little off-topic on IT, but it's interesting and worth writing about in my opinion, so here it is.

I went to get my new Illinois driver's license (being that I recently moved back from Georgia) and found an interesting loophole in the system that even the employees here acknowledged was ridiculous. If you read the requirements for getting a license in Illinois, they are as follows: passport or birth certificate, Social Security ID card, and a utility bill with your name and address on it. Given that I didn't want to have to drive home and get a utility bill, I asked if there was anything else I can do. The lady at the counter was quick to ask if I had to register my vehicle as well - to which I said yes. In that case, she stated, I could simply get the auto registration changed first (since that didn't even require an ID!), and then come over to the license side and use the registration as a form of identification and address verification.

So, let me get this straight... to verify that I live where I say I live, and I am who I say I am (as a third factor), I can go register a car to an address/name/etc that I don't have to present proof for, and then come and use that as proof of address??

There is something seriously wrong here...

So you may be wondering - so what? How can you possibly exploit this? Well allow me to explain. I can make up an address (as long as I can register some non-verified car) and bring that as my proof of residency at the address I'm claiming. This does indeed help create a situation where I can basically make up where I live, and not have to really prove it in any way.

Yes - it's not like I can create a fake ID with this loop-hole... but in a way, yes I can. I can come in from out of state and get an Illinois driver's license without actually proving that I live in Illinois... doesn't that bother anyone? I asked around, and everyone there that I asked agrees it's an egregious fault... but no one really cares enough (or doesn't have the power to) do anything about it.

That's a sad, sad state of affairs. I wonder how many other states have this provision? Maybe I an get a license in another state? If this kind of thing isn't a fraudster's dream...I don't know what is.

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