New Alabama law restricts usage of Social Security numbers

| Thursday, August 25, 2005

Intended to help prevent identity theft, a new Alabama law deletes the requirement that a Social Security number appear on the front of commercial driver’s licenses obtained in the state.

Regular Alabama driver’s licenses still must include a Social Security number.

Commercial drivers can request duplicate licenses, without the Social Security number.

The state’s Legislature passed the law in its special session last month, and Gov. Bob Riley signed it into law early this month.

The new state law, previously HB7, also prohibits accident reports from including a driver’s Social Security number.

Alabama ’s public safety director, Col. Mike Coppage, said his agency requested the change in response to increasing public concern about identity theft.

“Removing this requirement from a crash report will make it more difficult to acquire personal information for fraudulent purposes,” Coppage said in a written statement.

To help prevent identity theft, authorities warn consumers should look out for their own interests by reading their credit card statements, reviewing their credit report once a year, and destroying unwanted credit card offers.

If you think you’ve been a victim of identity theft, you are encouraged to file a police report and a complaint with the state attorney general’s office.

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