An alarming report issued this week by the State Auditor’s Office found that the Department of Public Safety had lack of oversight in the issuance of driver licenses and state ID cards. The report concluded:

The Department of Public Safety (Department) does not have sufficient controls over its processes for issuing driver licenses and identification cards to ensure that it collects, retains, and verifies all required information to prevent the issuance of driver licenses and identification cards to ineligible applicants.

Among its findings, the report states the department was missing applicant information that is required to keep on file, including proof of state residency, social security numbers, thumbprints, and driving skill test results.

Some of the recommended reforms proposed by the report included stronger monitoring and documentation review to help ensure that applicants comply with all requirements.

The report also found weaknesses in the driver license information system, stating that the DPS didn’t have sufficient measures in place to protect against misuse of driver license information, placing personal data at risk of being stolen and abused.

With the usage of state-issued identification playing a key part in ensuring the integrity of other functions such as voting, or the issuance of jury summons, the impact of failing to secure and verify applicant information can be felt broadly.

Matt Stringer

Matthew Stringer is from Odessa, TX and serves as a West Texas Correspondent for Texas Scorecard.