Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


1,700 Drivers Licenses stolen

The theft occurred early Monday in a remote industrial area, authorities said. The thieves took blank licenses and laminated covers, a digital license camera, a camera computer and a license printer.

“It’s been pondered that this has national security interests,” [police spokesman Tim] Bedwell said. “But it’s easier to pass a fake ID to a teller than to use it to get on a plane and fly internationally.”

He’s clearly right. (Actually, he’s totally off. With the possible remaining exception of Canada, you can’t fly internationally with a drivers license. But you sure can fly around the US on one.)

(From the Seattle Post Intelligencer, via Qaddisin Security Blog.)

[Update: To clarify, what was stolen was everything needed to create perfect license forgeries, not the data. Also, this Las Vegas Review Journal story is a little better.]

2 comments on "1,700 Drivers Licenses stolen"

  • That happened to me too, only in my case it was just business.
    Your Driver License, For Sale? Wired News, Jun. 25, 1999
    Public Records Vs. Private Lives By John Marcotte,, June 2000; … Choicepoint gets its incredibly detailed information not from bank records, customer surveys or sneaky Web cookies, but from public government documents legally obtained and compiled. But in the Information Age data is power. Should the government be selling these records to corporations? … Both Florida and South Carolina were caught selling their DMV databases — including names, addresses, heights, weights and even citizen’s pictures — to a private firm who wanted to create a pictorial database of every single person in the country. It turns out the company was partially financed by our own Secret Service . . .

  • Iang says:

    Actually, US people used to be able to fly to the Caribbean on a driver’s licence and a birth certificate. The Caribbean nations have been trying to change this since forever, but as most Americans don’t have passports, it means their tourism market is cut dramatically.
    I’m not sure what the latest is. Last I was in the Caribbean, I saw Americans handing over birth certs for inspection, so it may still be possible.

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