Paranoid for a Reason

By eweek  |  Posted 2001-05-07

Renew your drivers license early if you live in California; you may need the unexpired one for a trip to the nearest Social Security office.

The California DMV linked up with the SSA databases earlier this year and now rejects any application if the name given does not exactly match the name in the SSA computer. According to the DMV, newspaper reporter Elizabeth Weise of USA Today was trying to defraud the government and commit "identity theft" by attempting to renew her license under the name Beth Weise. Weise has used the name Beth on her California license for eight years.

To fix the error, you have to visit an SSA office to change its records. The identity proof required by SSA? You guessed it—a California drivers license.

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