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MassDOT requires Valid Social Security Numbers for Licenses

Massachusetts Registry News

If you are trying to get a Massachusetts Driver’s License with a false or made up social security number, MassDOT will catch you. When someone applies for a driver’s license in Massachusetts, the Registry clerk at the licensing counter will enter the information listed on the driver’s license application into the Registry’s computer system.

Once the information is entered, the Registry’s computer will automatically run a cross match check with the U.S. Social Security Administration’s computerized database of legitimately issued social security numbers. The purpose of this automated check is to determine if the social security account number is legitimate and whether the driver’s license applicant’s name and date of birth match the information contained in the Social Security Administration’s database.

If the social security account number has not been issued by the Social Security Administration or if the applicant is found to be using someone else’s SS number, the license application will be denied and MassDOT will not issue the driver’s license.

If the license transaction is allowed to proceed to the next step, using a system manufactured by L1 Identity Solutions, the RMV clerk will take your digital photograph and electronically capture your signature. The licensing clerk will compare your identifiers and biographical information with any other information contained in the RMV computer system. If a match is found, the Registry clerk will compare your digital photograph and signature with the information on file, to confirm your identity.

This system is only the Registry’s first line of defense against identity theft and license fraud. In addition to this system, the MassDOT uses a sophisticated facial recognition system to detect and prosecute license fraud and identity theft, which result in automatic license suspensions.

It is a criminal offense to impersonate another person when obtaining or attempting to obtain a Massachusetts Driver’s License or Registry Identification Card. Also, it is a felony with a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment to falsely procure a Massachusetts Driver’s license or Registry ID Card.

A conviction of impersonating another in a license application or falsely procuring a license carries an automatic 1 year suspension of your driver’s license or right to operate. The Mass. RMV will not consider you for a hardship license if your license is suspended or revoked for license fraud or “Comp. Fraud Lic/Id.” In some cases, you may be able to obtain a hardship license from the Board of Appeal.

The Massachusetts State Police Compliance Unit prosecutes these cases in the Boston Municipal Court and some cases result in the issuance of arrest warrants.

Under Federal Law, 18 USC 1028(a)(7), knowingly possessing or using an identification of another person in connection with, any unlawful activity that violates Federal law, or that is  a felony under State or local law, is a federal offense.

If you do not have a social security number, the RMV may accept a Social Security Denial Letter, which is a letter issued by the Social Security Administration to a non-immigrant alien which indicates that the alien is not eligible for work based upon a review of documents presented by the alien to the Social Security Administration. Because non-work eligibility status does not necessarily mean that an alien is ineligible to obtain a Massachusetts driver’s license, the denial letter can be presented as part of a package of documents to the RMV in order to attempt to procure a license.

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