Legislature(2001 - 2002)
03/13/2001 10:02 AM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE BILL NO. 102 "An Act relating to the information required in an application for, and to display of social security numbers on, certain licenses and instructional permits; and providing for an effective date." This was the first hearing for this bill in the Senate Finance Committee. SENATOR THERRIAULT, sponsor, testified to this Senate version of a bill introduced by Representative John Coghill, Jr. Senator Therriault stated that both bills propose to protect the printing of social security numbers (SSN) on drivers' licenses. He assured that the SSN would still be required on the applications for licenses, but would no longer appear on the licenses themselves. He shared that current regulation stipulates that an individual could request the omission of the SSN, but emphasized that most Alaskans are unaware of this option. He expressed that he would like the suppression of the SSN to be a default. Senator Therriault continued that this legislation also inserts in statute, a current regulatory policy providing that if an individual does not have a SSN, the license applicant could complete a sworn affidavit indicating that fact. He noted that past regulations prohibited the issuance of a driver's license to those individuals who do not have a SSN, but stated that this practice has stopped. SFC 01 # 36, Side B 10:56 AM Senator Therriault relayed a story of a person who lost his wallet and experienced credit problems that arose from another person who assumed his identity after obtaining his SSN from his commercial driver's license and then using that information to receive financing. Senator Therriault commented that when this legislation was originally drafted, he thought that the appearance of SSNs on commercial drivers' licenses was a federal requirement. He since learned that the federal government does not require this. As a result, he prepared an amendment that would expand the bill to include all types of drivers' licenses. Senator Therriault spoke to the use of SSNs and the heightened sensitivity of printing them on drivers' licenses due to the technological advances in the "modern computer age." He opined that ten years ago, it was difficult to track information on individuals. However, he stressed, the Internet, modern database and search technology, has increased the vulnerability of individuals if their SSN "falls into the wrong hands." Senator Green stated that she "very much approved of this" and that she hoped to become a co-sponsor of the legislation. However, she requested the sponsor review the history behind the Division of Motor Vehicles requiring SSNs. She remembered being told, "never to give that number to anyone," which she said evolved to the practice of allowing the state to request SSNs "for anything." Senator Therriault understood that the change was a federal mandate, citing that "money comes with strings attached" as the reason behind the state's involvement. He gave commercial drivers' licenses as an example of a license issued by the state, but possibly used for driving in other states. He said the federal government needed a method of tracking individuals for vehicle citations, whichever state the citation was issued. Senator Green clarified that Alaska did not initiate the practice of including SSNs on drivers' licenses. Senator Therriault affirmed. Amendment #1: This amendment inserts a new bill section on page 2, following line 20 of the committee substitute to read as follows. Sec. 3. AS 28.33.100(b) is amended to read: (b) In addition to the information required under AS 28.15.111, a commercial driver's license shall include information determined by the United States Secretary of Transportation to be appropriate to identify the licensee [, INCLUDING THE LICENSEE'S SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER.] [DELETED TEXT BRACKETED] Senator Wilken referred to the bill sponsor's testimony on this matter and moved for adoption. Without objection, the amendment was ADOPTED. Co-Chair Donley offered a motion to report SB 102, 22-LS0556\C, as amended from Committee with accompanying zero fiscal note from the Department of Administration, Motor Vehicles BRU. There was no objection that the bill MOVED from Committee.