Driver’s licenses are often a vector for fraud. After all, at least seven of the hijackers on Sept. 11, obtained Virginia state ID cards, which would serve as identification to board a plane, even though they lived in Maryland motels.

It’s critical that governments, businesses, and nonprofits know who the person is on the other end of an application for a state ID card, a credit application, an application for government benefits, or a volunteer position. The importance placed in the U.S. on driver’s licenses is why in February 2021, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA)  issued a report, Third Party Agent Administration Best Practices because “fraud detection and deterrence measures provide appropriate internal controls to mitigate the risks of internal and external fraud.”  The report includes

recommendations for the use of data analytical tools and trained personnel to identify anomalies, bring attention to questionable transactions, and discover potential fraud trends for both internal users and external agents. These tools are very useful in identifying and preventing fraud. The jurisdictional best practices and shared experiences described in this document will assist jurisdictions seeking to implement or expand agent services. The best practices will also be helpful when looking to upgrade existing policy documents and procedures with a goal of improving oversight. Additionally, best practices recommendations regarding contract or MOU provisions will bring increased standardization for vendors and agents operating in multiple jurisdictions.

As stated by James G. Huse Jr., the Social Security Administration’s inspector general following the September 11, attacks, “[i]f we can’t be sure when interacting that someone is who they purport to be, where are we?” Source: Robert O’Harrow Jr. and Jonathan Krim, National ID Card Gaining Support, Wash. Post, Dec. 7, 2001, A1 (quoting James Huse, Inspector General of the Social Security Administration).