New York DMV Advises Drivers to Keep License Images Off Social Media

January 8, 2016

The New York Department of Motor Vehicles is warning drivers of the risk of identity theft from posting images of their newly-obtained permits and driver licenses on social media, particularly popular among young adults.

Officials said the sensitive information on DMV identification documents, including a driver address, date of birth, and signature, make it easy for any social media user to steal a victim’s identity.

“Passing a driver’s test is a very exciting time in a young person’s life and DMV understands why teens are excited to show off their permits and licenses,” said DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan.

“Just don’t make your personal information public in the process. Having your identity stolen and your privacy compromised is not a good way to celebrate getting your driver license,” Egan advised.

About 6 percent of identity theft victims are 19 years old and younger, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), but posting photos of IDs on social media is just one way teens and young adults can get into financial trouble down the road.

In August, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a warning to college students that purchasing fake IDs and false identification documents increases the chances of becoming a victim of identity fraud.

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, a non-profit group founded to provide victim assistance and consumer education, victims whose identity is compromised from driver license information most often discover trouble when they find unexplained traffic violations appearing on their driving records.

Identity theft topped the FTC’s national ranking of consumer complaints for the 15th consecutive year in 2014.

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