Q: In what ways does the DMV protect consumers against identity theft?
A: Identification cards are a major target of identity fraud.
Since the California Department of Motor Vehicles issues primary California ID cards, we do everything possible to protect your identity.
Some of the things that the DMV implements to help secure your identity include:
• When renewing in a field office, or replacing a lost or stolen Driver License or ID card, department representatives verify your personal information (height, weight, hair, and eye color, etc.) and check your photo on the DMV database
• Customers applying for a California Driver License or ID card for the first time are required to provide a birth verification document, an acceptable document to prove legal presence in the United States and their Social Security number
• DMV electronically verifies legal presence documents with the Department of Homeland Security
• DMV electronically verifies the Social Security number with the Social Security Administration
• A Driver License or ID card will not be issued until all information provided is verified
• DMV employees are continuously trained on fraud document detection
• Companies, such as auto dealerships or driving schools, licensed by DMV are monitored regularly to ensure their compliance with the law and regulations
• Registered owner(s) requesting replacement license plates or a duplicate ownership certificate for a vehicle are required to provide a California Driver License or ID card to prove identity
For more information on how the DMV helps to protect your identity, please visit dmv.ca.gov and click the Publication tab and click the Fast Facts and How to Brochure link, then click the DMV Brochure link and click the Identity Theft option.
Q: I always get frustrated on the freeway when I'm adjacent to or behind a big rig truck because the drivers nearly hit me every time when merging or changing lanes!
Additionally, I am afraid to pass trucks because I'm worried when I move over, they might try to move over too and hit me.
Can you offer any advice to make driving around trucks easier and safer?
A: The presence of trucks on the road is challenging for many drivers. Be mindful, however, that they have major blind spots that make driving challenging for them, too.
The most important thing to remember is that if you can't see truckers' mirrors, they most likely can't see you.
With this in mind, you may begin to understand why trucks might merge too closely, etc.
It's very important that you leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the truck, and before merging or passing, make sure you are visible to the driver.
When passing a truck, speed up and try to get around them quickly (but safely and within the speed limit). Do not linger, because it prohibits trucks from having room to move in the event they approach an obstacle in the road.
George Valverde is the director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Do you have questions about general driving related requirements like registration or insurance? Are you unclear about laws and restrictions related to driving? The California DMV has answers at dmv.ca.gov. And now, you can submit any DMV-related questions at email@example.com.