Mailing mistake puts Texas license holders' identity in jeopardy

| 4/28/2005

While it may be true that there’s no such thing as a good driver’s license photo, a number of Texas drivers won’t recognize themselves for a different reason when they receive their renewed cards in the mail.

It’s not bad photography that’s at fault this time – it’s a mailing mistake that sent 500 to 600 renewal and replacement licenses to the wrong people.

The Texas Department of Public Safety – an agency that, ironically, promotes identity theft protection as one of its primary goals on its Web site – suffered the snafu after a 30-year-old mailing machine, a machine which had never made such a massive mailing error, was replaced by a newer, more high-tech model, officials told the Austin American-Statesman.

All kidding aside, the mistake could put a number of people’s personal information in jeopardy. According to the agency’s Web site, a Texas license contains a photograph, full name, address, signature, eye color, height and birth date.

The card also contains a DPS-issued identification number – not a social security number – that is used by several other agencies, the Statesman reported.

Texas drivers who received the wrong licenses should call their local DPS office or the DPS office in Austin at (512) 424-2600 or (512) 424-2000.