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Lawmakers looking into new procedures at DMVs

By Brad Johnson, Reporter, bradj@kmiz.com
Published On: Mar 27 2013 07:12:47 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 28 2013 11:40:18 AM CDT
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -

Missouri senators are worried that new procedures at the Department of Motor Vehicles could lead to the theft of your identity.

Lawmakers discovered that some DMV offices across the state have started collecting private personal information to go along with federal requirements, although the state decided not to comply.

The Senate does not know exactly who the documents are available to. Senators subpoenaed the documents from the Department of Revenue (DOR) and want them by next Tuesday. They tell ABC 17 News they're giving the department an ultimatum -- give them the documents or funding for DMVs won't be there.

Senators tell us they first noticed the changes at the Columbia license office about a month ago. When they started probing into the changes, they learned DOR decided to go along with federal requirements and never told the state about it.

“When they take your picture, they measure biometrics of your face and then in your file, along with all of your personal information, go things like your biometrics and things like that, and these are all requirements of federal law,” Senator R-Columbia Kurt Schaefer said.

Schaefer believes the problem is that the information obtained is too intrusive, and information such as birth certificates or Social Security numbers are stored in a database. He believes the department is sharing that information.

Schaefer says he and others have had a lot of difficulty trying to get the information from the department about having the equipment and even where the money came from.

He says the department first told him no Homeland Security grants have been given. Then officials told him they got a grant, but it was for hole punches and routers. Then in a Senate committee hearing, the third answer was when the truth came out that they did get money from Homeland Security.

Senators tell us they really have no idea what to think until they get those documents. It could even affect how much money the department gets in next year's budget.

“When something like this comes up and you realize you can no longer rely, for example, [on] what the Department of Revenue is telling you, that begs the question, do you give them any of the public money until you know what they're spending the public's money on” Schaefer said.

We left a message and sent an email to DOR, but neither has been returned.

This is the first time the Senate has subpoenaed any documents since then - Sen. Jay Nixon did it regarding unclaimed property in 1990.

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