Nebraska, SSA verify licensees

Nebraska, SSA verify licensees

Nebraska's Motor Vehicles Department is wrapping an extra layer of security around its driver's licensing procedures. The Cornhusker State, along with 16 others, is verifying Social Security numbers electronically before giving out driver's licenses.

When a motorist goes to the Nebraska DMV to renew a driver's license, the examiner sends a query to the Social Security Administration's main database in Baltimore over a secure, leased frame relay network, said Keith Dey, information systems manager. This verifies that the applicant has given a valid Social Security number and date of birth. If the numbers don't match, the SSA sends back an alert message.

The state driver's license system is housed on an IBM RS/6000 server running on an OS/390 platform, Dey said. The department leases secure frame relay lines through a network run by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators of Arlington, Va.

The virtual private network runs over AT&T Corp.'s global network, said Darlene Campbell, network account manager for AAMVAnet's western region. AAMVAnet officials divided the AT&T network into a VPN through a series of switches and routers, Campbell said.

SSA data drives Nebraska DMV licensing effort

AAMVAnet is the transport for information exchange between motor vehicle departments and Social Security. It was designed as an IBM Systems Network Architecture network, but the association recently migrated it to frame relay, she said.

Motor vehicle departments in 17 states use AAMVAnet to query the SSA, said Carolyn Cheezum, an agency spokeswoman. The program started in 1997.

Since Sept. 11, there has been discussion about the need for a national ID card, said Jason King, AAMVA spokesman. 'The reality is that we already have the connections and infrastructure right here at AAMVA,' King said.

The sweeping transportation bill Congress passed in 1998 gave a mandate for AAMVAnet to conduct a technology assessment for a national integrated driver's license information system, AAMVAnet officials said. Called the Driver Record Information Verification System, it would combine the functions of the Commercial Driver License Information System, the Problem Driver Pointer System and others.

Only one each

The CDL system is based in Plano, Texas, and is managed by Electronic Data Systems Corp. It operates in all 50 states and is designed to prevent commercial drivers from getting a license from more than one state.

AAMVA's pointer system lets states exchange data on problem drivers through the National Driver Register, a database run by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that contains information on drivers whose licenses have been revoked or suspended or who have been convicted of serious traffic offenses.

There are two goals for DRIVERS, King said: to identify people at the time of licensing and to enable states to share that information electronically and in real time.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.


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