Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Missouri Auditor Says Document Scanning for Driver's Licenses Violated Law

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Missouri Auditor Says Document Scanning for Driver's Licenses Violated Law

Article excerpt

JEFFERSON CITY * The Missouri Department of Revenue violated state law when it began making electronic copies of documents used to obtain Missouri drivers licenses, according to a state audit released Monday.

But the state Highway Patrol's decision to share a list of Missourians with concealed weapons permits with a federal investigator was legal, the auditor's report concluded.

The auditor's report comes after a months-long, politically tinged legislative investigation into the Department of Revenue's handling of concealed carry permits and the new drivers licenses.

The department started electronically scanning personal documents last December in a move that agency officials defended as an attempt to make Missouri licenses more secure. The shift coincided with the state's move to a centralized vendor now printing Missouri licenses in Georgia a decision that officials characterized as a cheaper alternative to having printers in every license office.

During this year's legislative session, several lawmakers sought to tie the document scanning to the 2005 federal Real ID Act, an anti-terrorism initiative that came about after recommendations from the 9/11 commission. The Missouri Legislature passed a law in 2009 that bars the state from implementing the stricter ID guidelines.

"The auditor's report confirms what the department has said from the outset: The department followed state law prohibiting compliance with Real ID and fulfilled its duty to provide safe and secure state- issued photo IDs while protecting the privacy of Missourians," Revenue Department spokeswoman Michelle Gleba said in a statement on the audit's findings.

When they questioned Revenue officials, legislators came across information that suggested the state was sharing information about concealed gun permit-holders with the federal government. …

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