When bad things happen to your good name
Identity theft crimes are on the rise, causing nationwide concern. The Iowa DOT's Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection is taking an aggressive stand on identity theft relating to your driver's license, state issued ID card and motor vehicle title(s). When someone uses your identity to obtain an Iowa driver's license, ID card or vehicle title, the Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection may be able to help you.
How does identity theft occur?
Identity thieves steal or obtain Social Security cards and numbers, birth certificates, immigration documents or personal information that is unique to you. The identity thief can then use this information to:
- Obtain a driver's license or ID card.
- Open a bank account or obtain credit in your name.
- Purchase an automobile or real estate.
- Drain personal financial accounts.
- Obtain fraudulent driving and criminal records.
- Secure fraudulent government benefits.
- Obtain employment.
As a result, your driving privileges can be suspended and your credit rating destroyed. In addition, you may have trouble obtaining government benefits, and you may be held liable in civil suits or criminal cases for motor vehicle incidents. You may also be accused of not reporting wages, which can result in a substantial tax liability. All of these problems will require countless hours of telephone and written communications to resolve the problem.
How to protect yourself from becoming a victim.
- Carry only those items needed in your purse or wallet. Avoid carrying your Social Security card, your birth certificate, blank checks, numerous credit cards or a motor vehicle title.
- Check your driving and credit record on an annual basis.
- Replace your Social Security number on your driver's license with an "assigned" number.
- Shred all bills and records you no longer need that contain personal identifying information.
- Check your Social Security records for unexplained earnings.
- Report lost or stolen documents, such as driver's license, ID card or vehicle title(s), to law enforcement officials.
- Place "fraud alerts" on your credit file to warn creditors not to open a new account until they contact you.
- Use your "assigned" driver's license number on your checks.
ARE YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW A VICTIM OF IDENTITY THEFT?
If you or someone you know are a victim of identity theft relating to your Iowa driver's license, ID card or motor vehicle title, the Iowa DOT's Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection may be able to assist you with this crime. If an investigation is conducted, it may result in clearing your driving record and determining proper ownership of vehicles. If necessary, the Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection may assist you by notifying other private and government agencies of the results of the investigation. In addition, the investigation may result in filing of criminal charges and administrative sanctions against the offender. Download the Identity Theft Complaint packet.
Reporting identity theft and the steps to recovery can be complex and emotionally taxing. We’re here to help. We've created an ID theft recovery resource that provides first steps, next steps, and contact information to guide you through the process.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at
Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection
In order to deter identity theft, the Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection requests your assistance in reporting anyone you may know who is using a stolen identity. To report the misuse of someone's identity or to file a complaint, please contact:
Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection
6310 SE Convenience Blvd.
Ankeny, IA 50021
Phone: 515-237-3050 Fax: 515-817-6619
More information can be obtained from:
Iowa's Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
1305 E. Walnut St.
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
Additional government agencies to contact about identity theft are:
Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center
600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20580
Social Security Administration
Office of Inspector General
210 Walnut St.
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Internal Revenue Service
Criminal Investigation Division
P.O. Box 7909, Stop 900
Shawnee Mission, Kansas 66207-7909
To obtain information concerning your driving record, you must personally appear at your local driver's license issuance and be able to prove your identity.
To obtain information concerning registration and title records, you may contact your local county treasurer's office.