In 2013 the Tennessee Department of Safety unveiled new kiosks at DMVs across the state which helped make renewing a license a much quicker process. These kiosks are also equipped with access to state’s driver’s license network records and facial recognition software.
So what does that have to do with fraud? After any person uses a kiosk to update their driver’s license, the software runs your information using the facial recognition software to determine if you have ever received a driver’s license under a different name. If so, that person is then “flagged” and the Department of Safety’s identity crime unit is notified and an investigation ensues.
Because the software is so new and most people are using the kiosks for the first time, most of the flagged individuals are alleged to have used an alternate name to gain a driver’s license from years earlier. Although it is possible they could face criminal charges, most are subject to a two (2) year suspension of their driver’s license due to the statute of limitations.
There are a number of issues with the State’s use of facial recognition software, in particular its reliability and whether it tends to target undocumented aliens. If you receive notice of an allegation of fraud from the Tennessee Department of Safety, you have the right to request a hearing and challenge their fraud determination. Please note that you only have twenty (20) days to request a hearing or else you are required to surrender your license to the Department of Safety.
Michael Wrenn is an Associate Attorney at Freeman & Fuson