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Identity fraud

When bad things happen to your good name

Identity theft crimes are on the rise, causing nationwide concern. The Iowa DOT's Office of Motor Vehicle Enforcement is taking an aggressive stand on identity theft relating to your driver's license, state issued ID card and motor vehicle title(s).  When someone uses your identity to obtain an Iowa driver's license, ID card or vehicle title, the Office of Motor Vehicle Enforcement's investigative unit may be able to help you.

How does identity theft occur?

Identity thieves steal or obtain Social Security cards and numbers, birth certificates, immigration documents or personal information that is unique to you. The identity thief can then use this information to:
  • Obtain a driver's license or ID card.
  • Open a bank account or obtain credit in your name.
  • Purchase an automobile or real estate.
  • Drain personal financial accounts.
  • Obtain fraudulent driving and criminal records.
  • Secure fraudulent government benefits.
  • Obtain employment.
As a result, your driving privileges can be suspended and your credit rating destroyed. In addition, you may have trouble obtaining government benefits, and you may be held liable in civil suits or criminal cases for motor vehicle incidents. You may also be accused of not reporting wages, which can result in a substantial tax liability. All of these problems will require countless hours of telephone and written communications to resolve the problem.

How to protect yourself from becoming a victim.

  • Carry only those items needed in your purse or wallet. Avoid carrying your Social Security card, your birth certificate, blank checks, numerous credit cards or a motor vehicle title.
  • Check your driving and credit record on an annual basis.
  • Replace your Social Security number on your driver's license with an "assigned" number.
  • Shred all bills and records you no longer need that contain personal identifying information.
  • Check your Social Security records for unexplained earnings.
  • Report lost or stolen documents, such as driver's license, ID card or vehicle title(s), to law enforcement officials.
  • Place "fraud alerts" on your credit file to warn creditors not to open a new account until they contact you.
  • Use your "assigned" driver's license number on your checks.

Are you a victim of identity theft?

If you are a victim of identity theft relating to your Iowa driver's license, ID card or motor vehicle title, the Iowa DOT's Office of Motor Vehicle Enforcement has an investigative unit that may be able to assist you with this crime. If an investigation is conducted, it may result in clearing your driving record and determining proper ownership of vehicles. If necessary, the Office of Motor Vehicle Enforcement may assist you by notifying other private and government agencies of the results of the investigation. In addition, the investigation may result in filing of criminal charges and administrative sanctions against the offender.

Office of Motor Vehicle Enforcement

In order to deter identity theft, the Office of Motor Vehicle Enforcement requests your assistance in reporting anyone you may know who is using a stolen identity. To report the misuse of someone's identity or to file a complaint, please contact:

Motor Vehicle Enforcement
Investigations
P.O. Box 10473
Des Moines, Iowa  50306-0473
Telephone: 866-908-4636
Fax: 515-237-3387
E-mail: invmve@dot.iowa.gov 
Website: www.iamvd.com/omve

More information can be obtained from:

Iowa's Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
1305 E. Walnut St.
Hoover Building
Des Moines, Iowa  50319
Telephone: 515-281-5926
Website: www.state.ia.us/government/ag

Additional government agencies to contact about identity theft are:

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Consumer Response Center
600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC  20580
Telephone: 877-438-4338
Website: www.ftc.gov

Social Security Administration
Office of Inspector General
210 Walnut St.
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Toll-free: 800-772-1213

Internal Revenue Service
Criminal Investigation Division
P.O. Box 7909, Stop 900
Shawnee Mission, Kansas  66207-7909
Toll-free: 800-829-0433

To obtain information concerning your driving record, you must personally appear at your local driver's license station and be able to prove your identity.

To obtain information concerning registration and title records, you may contact your local county treasurer's office.