The hardships of identity checking


Our work leads us to three basic conclusions: (1) government officials and others generally did not recognize that the documents we presented were counterfeit; (2) many government officials were not alert to the possibility of identity fraud and some failed to follow security procedures and (3) identity verification procedures are inadequate. While some of the problems revealed in our tests have been addressed by the responsible agencies, much remains to be done. A driver’s license is the most commonly accepted document used for identifications. The weaknesses we found during this investigation clearly show that border inspectors, motor vehicle departments, and firearms dealers need to have the means to verify the identity and authenticity of the driver’s licenses that are presented to them. In addition, government officials who review identification need additional training in recognizing counterfeit documents. Further, these officials also need to be more vigilant when searching for identification fraud.

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