Oops…172 Pa. Driver’s Licenses Accidently Voided

August 17, 2006

A bureaucratic error led to the accidental cancellation of 172 Pennsylvania driver’s licenses this week, according to the state Department of Transportation.

The licenses have been restored, but residents who received notices that their licenses were canceled need to get new ones, PennDOT spokeswoman Claudine Battisti said last week.

The error occurred after the department’s office of risk management, which investigates fraud, identified 172 licenses that had nonmatching photos, Battisti said.

Essentially, licenses that used the same name and license number but appeared to have nonmatching photos in their records were pulled for state police to investigate.

Before that investigation was complete, however, the owners of those 172 licenses were sent notices that their licenses had been canceled, Battisti said.

“Flat out, this was a mistake on our part,” she said. “The letters were sent in error.”

The Bucks County Courier Times learned of the mistake when one of its reporters received a notice that his license had been canceled.

Each affected driver will need to bring a Social Security card, birth certificate and two forms of proof of residency to a license center to get a new driver’s license, said Battisti.

“Unfortunately, there is still a potential for fraud here,” she said.

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