The state of New York is in the
midst of a major investigation into people who hold driver’s licenses in the
state. And when the probe is finished, as many as 300,000 residents could lose
Christine Burling, a spokeswoman
for the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, said the state had sent letters
to roughly 600,000 residents asking them to confirm the Social Security numbers
they provided to the state when they applied for a license.
More than 51 percent of those people
have responded, but about 300,000 still have not verified their Social Security
numbers, Burling said. The department has started sending out “notices of
suspension,” telling those people that if they do not verify their numbers
soon, they will lose their ability to legally drive.
So far, 1,700 of those letters
have gone out. The letters cover “people who have multiple licenses or in cases
where the same Social Security number had been used three or more times,” Burling said.
was part of an effort to enforce New York state and federal laws requiring that
people applying for a driver’s license provide truthful information in their
application, Burling said.
want to make sure people are who they say they are,” she said. “The law clearly
states that someone has to identify themselves as deemed appropriate by the
According to Burling, during testimony earlier this year
in Albany, Motor Vehicles Department Commissioner Raymond Martinez said as many
as 100,000 people in the state may have had their Social Security number used
by someone else without their knowledge or permission.
In one case, as many as 57 people
were using the same number.
– By Mark H. Reddig, associate