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February 15, 2011

New identity theft protection in Indiana causing problems

From an article by Joe Astrouski on -

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - A new system at the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles designed to prevent identity theft has left some unable to cash checks or fill prescriptions.

Under the system, when someone orders a driver’s license or identification card, he or she is given a temporary identification slip to use for driving and voting for ten business days.

In the meantime, the state checks the person’s documents and photograph.

“It gives us time to accurately check the documents that are being presented to us as well, as well as do some facial recognition,” said Graig Lubsen, a BMV spokesman.

That time proved expensive for Kevin Mulikins, when he tried cashing a paycheck with the temporary ID.

“They wouldn’t cash it,” he said. “When I went to Wal-Mart to get a prescription, they wouldn’t fill it because they said it wasn’t valid ID.”

Mulikins said he had to spend $50 at a check cashing center to get his check cashed.

Lubsen said the temporary slips are not considered valid identification since they have been issued before the state could confirm the holder’s identity.

He said businesses can decide whether to accept the temporary IDs.

“It’s up to each business whether they want to accept these as proof of identity,” Lubsen said.

That inconsistency, together with the temporary card’s use for voter identification, has Mulikins concerned.

“It says it’s valid for voter registration,” Lubsen said. “If it’s valid for voter registration, why isn’t it valid to cash a check or get a prescription?”

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