Your driver’s license is singularly the most important identification document you have. It can identify you nationally and internationally. It has enough information stored on it to give law enforcement officials your entire history in a relatively short amount of time.
This is why, having it stolen can be one of the most disastrous things that can happen to you. In most cases, it can give the thief a shield to prevent his or her identity from being detected. In fact, it should be noted that the 9/11 terrorist used falsified ids during their time in the US.
Sadly, many people do not realize just how much damage can be done, nor do they realize how long it can follow them through out their lives should they become a victim of this crime.
For example, let’s suppose that your driver’s license was stolen by someone who then went on and had a traffic accident. Suppose that person went on to get a ticket or was supposed to appear in court for the aforementioned traffic accident.
The thief, of course, would not show up in court nor would they pay the ticket. Who would get in trouble? You would! With your driver’s license on record, the law enforcement agency would place you under arrest while the real criminal would get away!
Part of the reason is that it is relatively easy to alter someone’s driver’s id. Over simplifying the process, it goes something like this: The outer lamination of a stolen card is peeled away. The photo is then replaced with the thief’s photo and the lamination is replaced.
To overcome the ease of this crime many states are trying various methods to make it impossible for the thief to do this and get away with it. Some states are using a water mark in the lamination, while others are going deeper by adding a second or third watermark elsewhere.
Another important thing to remember is that your driver’s license can be used to obtain a rental property (I.E. house for rent), a cell phone, etc. It is the one form of id that is required above all others to obtain just about anything in this country.
This is called fraud. This can lead to severe financial difficulties for the victim that can last for years. This kind of activity can have detrimental effects on the victim’s credit rating and history.
With all of this being said, what can you do to protect your card? First and foremost, always keep it with you. Never leave it in the car or at home. Never trust anyone with it.
Should you discover that it has been stolen, report it immediately. Should the thief go out and embark on a crime spree, your report is on file with local law enforcement and can act as a testimony in your defense. It also gives the thief very little time in using it.
When reporting the theft, remember to include all the details you can. Date, time, and place you discovered the theft. If there is any wrongful usage after the reported date and time, then you won’t be held liable. You police report is your record of its theft.