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Driver's License to be the Next Debit Card

CowboyNeal posted more than 6 years ago | from the marks-of-the-beast dept.

The Almighty Buck 394

prostoalex writes "Your US driver's license has a magnetic stripe with unique ID in it, and your debit card carries a magnetic stripe with account information on it, so why not link the two together and allow people to use their driver's licenses as debit cards? That's precisely what a young company National Payment Card is doing in select locations, according to Business Week: 'Gas-station owners are pleased with the program too. Because NPC processes the payment as an e-check with the Automated Clearing House (ACH), a network most commonly used for direct deposits, participating retailers bypass credit card companies such as Visa and Mastercard.'"

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394 comments

So when your license is suspended... (5, Funny)

Admodieus (918728) | more than 6 years ago | (#19173851)

...your account is frozen. Brilliant!

Re:So when your license is suspended... (2, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 6 years ago | (#19173883)

Oh, I'm sure there will be other results from the mishmash as well. Such as your interest rate going up if you get a ticket (I give the legislators just a little time to come up with that one.)

Re:So when your license is suspended... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19174269)

You pay interest for your /debit/ card?

Re:So when your license is suspended... (3, Funny)

spyder-implee (864295) | more than 6 years ago | (#19173897)

Atleast this way you can still bribe the cop when your outa cash.

Re:So when your license is suspended... (1, Interesting)

smokeslikeapoet (598750) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174239)

Why do cops need bribes when they have tax and ticket revenue?

Re:So when your license is suspended... (1)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174289)

Ticket revenue doesn't go directly to the person issuing the fine, hence the opportunity for bribes to take place.

Re:So when your license is suspended... (4, Interesting)

AoT (107216) | more than 6 years ago | (#19173903)

Yeah, government and business working in collusion, more so than usual.

Just what I always wanted.

Oh, and now someone can make counterfeit licenses that double as fake debit cards.

Nah, no problems here.

Re:So when your license is suspended... (4, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174125)

Yeah, government and business working in collusion, more so than usual.

How is the government colluding in this? Near as I can tell, it's just private enterprise.

Re:So when your license is suspended... (4, Insightful)

ben there... (946946) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174305)

It would be more convenient if they would just use a barcode on your neck, or an RFID chip in your arm. Who wants to carry around a drivers license? Also, we need to make it impossible to pay with cash or checks.

Plus there are all these benefits:
1) You can identify where people are at all times
2) You can track every purchase everyone ever makes and where they make it
3) You can use the above to profile almost every action and behavior of every individual
4) You can shut off the ability to buy anything for alleged criminals and political dissidents

Sounds like a great idea. I only hope we can continue to move in that direction even faster.

Re:So when your license is suspended... (0)

rsmoody (791160) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174473)

Oh, WOW! You forgot: 5) We can accelerate the end of times. Man, that is so close to Revelation that it is honestly scary! Christian or not, you have to see the similarities! Not trying to flame, honest. I hope that's what you were going for.

Re:So when your license is suspended... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19174035)

...you probably shouldn't be buying gas.

Re:So when your license is overdrawn... (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174131)

Makes more sense to allow you to drive on your credit card. ( I'd rather trust Visa's or AmEx's opinion of your reliability than the opinion of some govt bureaucrat ).
And if it's overdrawn you shold only be allowed to drive to and from work. :-)

"Your US driver's license" (5, Insightful)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174155)

Your US driver's license
Stop. Right. There. I don't have a US driver's license. I have a State of Texas driver's license. I used to have a California driver's license.

I see where this is going: National ID, financial account ... next is it medical data stored on same card?

Heck, this card will be TOO important! What if it is lost! Why, I can't be identified, buy or sell, get health care... you'd better just tattoo the damn number on my arm and forehead.

No, thanks.

Re:"Your US driver's license" (5, Funny)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174271)

Don't be foolish.

They are going to implant it into our right hand.

Re:"Your US driver's license" (1)

Redlazer (786403) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174411)

Oh please. Don't be such an alarmist fool.

It said NOTHING about a nationalized license. Its just using it as a catch-all.

Man. You people are WAY too psychotic sometimes.

I think it sounds like a great idea. It wont necessarily be your only card, so if something weird does happen, you can still use it. You cant use (regular) debit cards online, so if your license is suspended, chances are you won't be able to use it anywyays. Of course, it would still be stupid if a suspended license meant you cant use the debit side of the card.

You people really freak out WAY too much.

-Red

Re:So when your license is suspended... (2, Funny)

Alligator427 (1054168) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174243)

Yes! And when I get pulled over by a cop for speeding and hand him my license, I'll get a ticket for speeding, and then be arrested for attempted bribery! Brilliant!

Re:So when your license is suspended... (1)

Knetzar (698216) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174283)

Or they can just use your drivers license number as a key into a database and use the picture to deter fraud. This of course assumes that fake ids will be hard to make :-)

Not only that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19174299)

I wonder how soon we will be getting the star of david bracelets? I bet the feds like the idea of being able to track EVERYBODY at any time. Oh, wait. That is the plan.

Doesn't freeze account. (3, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174317)

So when your license is suspended...your account is frozen. Brilliant!

Nope.

When your license is suspended it doesn't keep you from using it as ID. It just keeps you from driving legally.

All this system is doing is using your license as an ID to look up your account in the e-check processing service's database. This keeps on working until the service decides to stop accepting that particular license as ID. (Probably when it expires and/or is replaced with a new one.)

Re:So when your license is suspended... (1, Redundant)

nuclear_eclipse (769793) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174325)

That's the dumbest fucking idea I've ever heard! On another note, how is this supposed to work in states like New York where our IDs are on a flexible card paper with no magnetic stripe? Sometimes I'm glad NY uses this form of identification. I like my money separate from my name thank you.

Sounds Neat (3, Insightful)

magictiger (952241) | more than 6 years ago | (#19173863)

It turns your license into a debit card with photo ID. Sounds neat, and considering most clerks that are supposed to ask to see a license for debit/credit usage never do, it may reduce fraudulent charges. The only downside is more clerks seeing your address, date of birth, etc.

It's not for me, but I can see where some people would like this. One less card to carry around and potentially lose.

Re:Sounds Neat (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 6 years ago | (#19173975)

No one is supposed to check for a photo ID for Mastercard or Visa.

Re:Sounds Neat (2, Informative)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174433)

I process cards for customers every day that have 'ask for id' in big letters on them. It is the card owner's way of making it harder for a thief to use his card.

Re:Sounds Neat (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174457)

Not the way I was taught. Always ask for a photo ID for a transaction that doesn't involve cash. (Check and credit...with the DL# being written on the check.)

Re:Sounds Neat (1)

Jordan (jman) (212384) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174033)

Yeah, sounds neat until you ever have it stolen or lost. Have you ever tried to get a drivers license replaced? Try going for who knows how many weeks without a debit card. At least banks can usually replace them in a few days.

Not to mention the identity theft aspect of it. Before they would have to steal two cards, now they would only need to steal one. Sounds good for crooks, eh?

Re:Sounds Neat (5, Informative)

smbarbour (893880) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174049)

It's better for the merchant not to ask for ID since Visa forbids merchants from making identification a condition of acceptance

When should you ask a cardholder for an official government ID? Although Visa
rules do not preclude merchants from asking for cardholder ID, merchants
cannot make an ID a condition of acceptance. Therefore, merchants cannot
refuse to complete a purchase transaction because a cardholder refuses to
provide ID. Visa believes merchants should not ask for ID as part of their regular
card acceptance procedures. Laws in several states also make it illegal for
merchants to write a cardholder's personal information, such as an address or
phone number, on a sales receipt.

-Pg 29, Rules for Visa Merchants--Card Acceptance and Chargeback Management Guidelines
Even if the cardholder refuses to show ID, the card must still be accepted or else the merchant is in violation of their agreement and therefore subject to termination and blacklisting.

Re:Sounds Neat (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174105)

If I'm trying to buy some beer and the low wager behind the counter wants to see the signature on my drivers license because my credit card isn't signed, I'm going to show it to them, not call Visa and go somewhere else.

Re:Sounds Neat (1)

A (8698) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174183)

Actually your Visa is not valid unless it is signed. You might want to look to that.

And if you don't have a problem showing him/her your I.D. thats fine, some of us are a bit paranoid about such things.

Re:Sounds Neat (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174215)

In a very technical sense maybe. It still seems to work when I buy stuff with it.

Also, note that most people that aren't quite thirty that purchase alcohol in this particular state are quite comfortable showing I.D., and there are hundreds of thousands of us.

Re:Sounds Neat (2, Informative)

hjf (703092) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174231)

Interesting. In my country (Argentina) Visa explicitly requires [visa.com.ar] merchants to request an ID (specifically, the DNI - Documento Nacional de Identidad), and have the customer sign, and write their name and DNI number on the credit/debit card receipt.

Re:Sounds Neat (1, Informative)

Osty (16825) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174107)

It turns your license into a debit card with photo ID. Sounds neat, and considering most clerks that are supposed to ask to see a license for debit/credit usage never do, it may reduce fraudulent charges

No clerk is ever supposed to ask to see ID when taking a credit/debit card. This is specifically against the policy of every major credit card company (Visa, Master Card, Discover, AmEx). If your card is unsigned, the clerk must reject it. If your card is signed with a variation of "See ID", the clerk must also reject it unless the official name of the card user really is "See ID". If the signatures don't match up, a clerk has discretion to reject or accept, but since most people have quite a bit of variance in how they sign their signature this requires some leeway. I clerk should only ask you for ID when you're purchasing something that requires an age check -- alcohol, tobacco, skin mags, R-rated movies, and M-rated games (don't you just love how those last two are lumped in with the first three?).

Protecting your identity is up to you and your bank. If you suspect your card is lost or stolen, cancel it (get a new account number). If you notice odd charges on your monthly bill, contest them and cancel your card. Every credit card company will revert contested charges, and you're not liable for them (some have a dollar amount, like you're not liable for anything over $50 or $100).

Credit card theft is relatively untenable, because any alert user will check his statement and find the fraudulent charges (if you don't look at your statement, either mommy and daddy do or you shouldn't have a credit card at all). As such I wouldn't worry about credit cards when worrying about identity theft. What's much more difficult to track is loan applications made in your name, because you have to actively retrieve (and usually pay for) your credit report. It's not mailed to you on a monthly basis.

One less card to carry around and potentially lose.

How many cards are you carrying around, anyway? If you have more than two or three, you've got a problem with credit. What you need:

  1. ATM/debit card
  2. Major-label credit/debit card (may be the same as #1) with a Visa or Master Card logo
  3. Optionally a secondary card from a "smaller" company like Discover or AmEx, because you can get good deals with those but they're not accepted everywhere like #2.
What you don't need:
  1. Multiple cards from the same label. There's no reason to carry around multiple Visas or Master Cards. You may think you need to because of credit limits, but you're better off using a single card with a higher limit (fewer rotating credit accounts allows for a higher limit on the ones you really need).
  2. Store cards. I'm not against applying for these when there's a really good deal, like no-interest, no-payment promotions (though you really ought to make sure you pay with a "no-payment" plan, unless you plan to pay it all off at the end as a single chunk). However you should cancel them once you're finished, and you should never carry them around with you.

Re:Sounds Neat (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174145)

alcohol, tobacco, skin mags, R-rated movies, and M-rated games (don't you just love how those last two are lumped in with the first three?)

I'm not sure how skin mags fall into a separate category from R movies and M games. I could see you saying "don't you just love how those last *three* are lumped in with the first two...

Re:Sounds Neat (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174169)

How many cards are you carrying around, anyway?

Just credit cards, or in general?

In general, I have a bus pass, credit card, debit card, driver's license, student ID, and some other stuff that I actually have no need for (but isn't harmful to have either). That's 5 cards that I have a use for on a regular basis. I suppose I could cut off one of the credit or debit cards, but I like using the credit card for almost all purchases (I pay off the balance in full each month; it just lets me hold the money a little longer and builds credit) and I need something I can get cash with. Dropping a couple of those cards would be pretty nice.

Re:Sounds Neat (2, Insightful)

Osty (16825) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174373)

In general, I have a bus pass, credit card, debit card, driver's license, student ID, and some other stuff that I actually have no need for (but isn't harmful to have either). That's 5 cards that I have a use for on a regular basis. I suppose I could cut off one of the credit or debit cards, but I like using the credit card for almost all purchases (I pay off the balance in full each month; it just lets me hold the money a little longer and builds credit) and I need something I can get cash with. Dropping a couple of those cards would be pretty nice.

I was just referring to credit/debit/ATM cards, but you do bring up a valid point. When I was in school ~10 years ago, we had a credit card-sized ID that doubled as a bus pass and could also be loaded up with money to use in many on-campus stores as a psuedo-debit card. It was a different system that companies had to explicitly support, but most places that catered to students took the card -- book stores, cofee shops, copy shops, etc. The only places on- or near-campus that didn't were fast food (this was prior to fast food allowing debit/credit card payments) and bars. With a system like that, your day-to-day routine as a student could be as simple as your state ID/driver's license, your student ID, and an emergency credit card.

When I wrote my post, I was thinking back to when I clerked in a national-chain electronics store. We'd routinely see people come in with stacks of cards (all theirs, not scammed). There were people with three, four, even five different Visas and Master Cards, a Discover, an AmEx or two, and a whole bunch of store cards for various local places. Even back then, I only carried what I carry now -- state ID/driver's license, a Visa (since switched to Master Card by my bank, but the account is the same in terms of credit age), a Discover, and my ATM card (I've changed banks several times since then, but I still only carry one ATM card). I just couldn't understand how people could get into such a situation where they have so many different credit cards. Some people had them organized in nice binders, others kept them in their wallet wrapped with some paper money and a rubber band, but well-dressed or dirty they were pretty much the same to me -- debt-ridden people who either never learned how to manage their finances or just didn't care. Maybe I shouldn't have judged them like that, but the lesson has stuck with me for 12+ years -- you just don't need that much credit in revolving accounts. In fact you just end up screwing yourself by doing that, because all of that revolving credit will ultimately cause you to be turned down for a car loan or mortgage that you really need, all because you wanted a new pair of designer jeans and got a $5000 limit card in order to do so.

Re:Sounds Neat (0, Flamebait)

a11 (716827) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174229)

Well, you're completely full of crap. If you read your credit card agreement (well, you're a fat nerd living in your mom's basement, so you don't have one), signing the back of the card acknowledges you agree with the terms. The terms also state that "See ID" is a valid acknowledgment of those terms.

The reason I know you're a fat loser dork with no real job? you mention smaller companies. like amex. you do know amex is pretty much the ONLY card used by anyone in business. you also usually book all travel through amex. heard of employees having corporate cards? no? you don't have one? never did? too many questions? interrupting your jacking off time? ah, I see I've not been able to hold your attention past this point and you are now reading the handy guide on picking up girls.

Re:Sounds Neat (1)

izm (592666) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174187)

Keep in mind that not all states are currently issuing driver's licenses with magnetic stripes on them. NJ for example has a bar code on their "new" licenses.

Re:Sounds Neat (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174277)

Most gas pumps just let swipe and fill up a few ask for your zip code. Some can take your card and buy gas with anyone knowing about and tacking you normal gas buying Habits does not work as gas prices keep going up and up and people will go the station with the lowest price and not the same one all the time.

wont work every where (2, Interesting)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 6 years ago | (#19173865)

Well it wont work everywhere, here in Massachusetts the magnetic strip was replaced with a digital barcode a few years ago.

Re:wont work every where (1)

rootofevil (188401) | more than 6 years ago | (#19173899)

im curious, if you consider the barcode 'digital' then what would an analog one be?

Re:wont work every where (2, Informative)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174029)

im curious, if you consider the barcode 'digital' then what would an analog one be?

Linearly encoded (greyscale or color) information instead of color/no-color encoded information. Slope encoding. Fuzzy encoding. Charge or field encoding (linear only, of course.) 1D binary digital is more convenient by far than analog (or systems like trinary and upwards, 2D and upwards) but analog isn't out of the question, either.

Re:wont work every where (0, Troll)

a11 (716827) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174359)

a barcode is a binary representation of data. the photo and printed text on the front is analog. retarded fuck.

Re:wont work every where (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19173927)

yeah I was gonna say, I've never had a magnetic strip on my driver's license... originally had an Illinois License, now have Indiana... Indiana has a barcode -- Illinois didn't have anything like it at all; I just got my Indiana license in Jan 05

Re:wont work every where (1)

A (8698) | more than 6 years ago | (#19173959)

A number of States do not have magnetic stripes.

However, put in a 2d bar code scanner at every point of sale and it would work out just as well.

Re:wont work every where (1)

Torrey Clark (877454) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174465)

It wouldn't work in Virginia either, our ID's also have the barcode instead of the magnetic strip.

bad idea (5, Insightful)

datapharmer (1099455) | more than 6 years ago | (#19173873)

So now someone can steal my identity and my credit in one card?
I would like to be the first to say this is a really bad idea.

Re:bad idea (4, Interesting)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 6 years ago | (#19173949)

I would like to be the first to say this is a really bad idea.

I'm sorry, you're going to have to take your place in line behind all the people who think RealID is a bad idea. This just isn't quite as bad, as yet. These ideas are all very much along the same lines. They are all about consolidation of your resources, identification, and risks, and that is a bad idea in general for your safety, your privacy and your liberties.

Re:bad idea (3, Insightful)

Saint V Flux (915378) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174093)

This isn't violating your privacy any more than it already is already violated - the government can track your credit card purchases just as easily as they could track purchases with a drivers license / debit card combo. Now, if they ever get rid of cash, then you'd have problems because you'd never be able to buy ANYTHING without being tracked.

Re:bad idea (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19173957)

What's the difference? For most people that'd mean stealing your wallet - they'll get both pieces of information anyway.

I want a card with my driver's license, my grocery store card, my debit card, my work ID, my AAA card, and every other damn thing cluttering my account all on one card. And I want an electronic device, too, that has my cell phone, my garage door opener, my car remote, my mp3 player, and any other little bullshit electronic device on it.
 

Mod up (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174039)

What's the difference? For most people that'd mean stealing your wallet - they'll get both pieces of information anyway.

This is exactly right.

Not quite sure why this is an issue.

Re:bad idea (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19174165)

Why not put all things in your cell phone? If the cards aren't going to have pictures, and possession is proof of identity, just shove it in the cell phone. The only ones that I can see wanting to not have in the cell phone are ones that prove identity via some other means such as a picture or description. Even then, put it in the cell phone, lock out that part of the cell phone from editing except by the controlling party of that data (yeah, it'll be hacked but it'll be just as secure as photo IDs are, I imagine), tie it to a central DB to register tampering, and stick a private code on there so that someone who steals the cell phone can't just start using your credit card everywhere.

Sound silly? Look at FeLiCa in Japan. There are vaios with felica readers so you can tap your cell phone to your keyboard to pay for internet purchases. FeLiCa on vending machines. Train stations. Convenience Stores.

I'd LOVE this scenario. As it is, being in Japan, I have an ICOCA in my wallet, that I use to get on any train I'm likely to get on in a hundred mile radius, works at many of the train station convenience stores, and I don't have to think about purchasing tickets or anything, and all I have to do is take my wallet out and tap it on the pad. My cell phone has FeLiCa built in, but since it's a rental phone I don't use it. I need only a few items: Cash, for places that don't yet take the various electronic payment methods (credit/debit card included, it's rather rare here).. ICOCA for the train, convenience stores, etc. And the key to the apartment I'm staying at. It's rather nice.. :)

Re:bad idea (2, Insightful)

Mahjub Sa'aden (1100387) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174365)

Yeah, I can't really see how this is a good idea. Maybe a convenient idea, but it seems that with every convenience comes some sort of multiplied danger.

What would be interesting to know is how much information about you is kept on that magnetic strip? I imagine the licensing office only has some sort of binary hash on there that can be read as a straight number and applied to a debit account, seeing how each number would be unique. So even if someone managed to swipe that data, they'd still just have a unique number, not your actual identity.

Or, if they stole the card, they'd have your license, but not your PIN. You show me someone merging a driver's license and a credit card and then I'll go ahead and tell you where they can stuff that idea.

They say... (1)

Gription (1006467) | more than 6 years ago | (#19173917)

"Speed costs money. How fast do you want to go?"

Just what we need. More interconnected national databases...

What will happen (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19173921)

When Paris Hilton is driving on her suspended license time after time and the officers keep taking her debit card err drivers license just for her to be reissued to fund her spending sprees.

To be honest, this is another retarded idea to get US consumers into more debt, but this will not matter because the US government is about to open the border up to 100 million Mexicans who will run across the border in the next 12 months if the amnesty plan is passed in Congress.

As soon as that happens, WHITE AMERICANS WILL BE THE MINORITY. SPANISH THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE.

Re:What will happen (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19173989)

Typical USian. How did you get the idea that you are entitled to anything in life? Do you feel you are more entitled to a job or to your bastardized English?

Oh wait, I have the answer, you white USians feel you are superior to everyone else in the world. Well the funny thing is the US is falling way behind and soon the rest of the world won't need the US. All of you USians can earn yourselves a Darwin award in any way possible for all we care.

Re:What will happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19174123)

Typical USian obeying the law. These bastards snuck into our country (a crime), steal an identity (a crime) to obtain services (crimes), and sit in the parking lots of Houston hospitals to go into labor more to cut in the ER line, after which the citizens of Texas are supposed to pay the bill. If an American citizen (regardless of color) went into that same hospital, the hospital will attempt to get as much money from that person as possible. I know someone who had the only $11 in their wallet taken to cover the bill later on.

You sir, are nothing more than a liberal idiot. Hitler would love to toss you in the gas chamber right now.

Captcha: borders -- HOW APPROPRIATE. Borders are legal boundaries that should be respected by law abiding citizens.

failzOrs! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19173933)

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Identity theft is a bad enough problem... (2, Insightful)

thezig2 (1102967) | more than 6 years ago | (#19173939)

...without this mess.

1. Give out name and address to complete strangers who work cash registers
2. Get identity stolen
3. Profit (for identity thieves).

Well, at least it fills in that elusive second step.

Re:Identity theft is a bad enough problem... (1)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174027)

Man, this has been going on FOR A LONG TIME. Just think of all the people who absentmindedly hand their Credit Card or Debit card to wait staff at dining establishments. A disproportionate amount of cloned numbers source from these places.

Re:Identity theft is a bad enough problem... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174141)

The first step is to stop calling it identity theft and start calling it fraud. When someone obtains your personal information and uses it to open financial accounts in your name, there isn't a damn thing you can do to stop them. Calling it identity theft creates the idea that you should have done something to stop it and that you are at fault, when you are in fact the victim, and the financial institution that issued the account is at fault.

Hmmm... (1, Informative)

intrico (100334) | more than 6 years ago | (#19173955)

While we're at it, we might as well socialize the whole entire banking industry, so that all citizens have no choice but to use a government account for their banking services! BRILLIANT!!!
//End Sarcasm

Re:Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19174153)

I don't see this as socializing the banking industry. In fact, it appears to be the exact opposite in that it makes it easier for the customer and vendor to interact without depending on a very expensive (2% of every txn + fees and interest) middleman. This doesn't require any government intervention at all. What they are doing is taking a magnetic card that every driver is supposed to have in their pocket already and using that as, heaven forbid, identification. One could easily do something similar by programming a swipe key system to recognize your credit card. The stripe itself just codes a number that has no meaning out of the context of the system used to interpret that number they are just taking advantage that your DL number probably has no meaning in a financial context (offer void in British Columbia).

Hillary Clinton is that you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19174339)

Hillary Clinton is that you?

First step towards National ID (5, Insightful)

Osty (16825) | more than 6 years ago | (#19173973)

As of today, driver's licenses and ID cards are state-specific. Layout, extra features (barcode, magnetic strip), anti-forgery techniques, etc are all decided on a state-by-state basis. If you move to a different state, you need to get a new license from that state within a certain amount of time (usually it's within a few weeks of establishing permanent residence). In order to roll out a nation-wide license-as-debit card program, either states will have to standardize on specific extra features like a magentic strip and what information is stored there, or licensing will have to be handled by the federal government.

As a believer in states' rights, this looks like nothing more than an end-run around opposition to a national ID program. If they can get people hooked on using their license as a debit card, nobody will object when the fed steps in to take control of licensing to make it "more efficient".

Re:First step towards National ID (1)

zbend (827907) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174361)

Not that I want a national ID either, but, we kinda already have international IDs, and there called credit cards. I know I was able to pick up airline tickets from a kiosk using my purchasing credit card as ID.

US Driver's license??? (1)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 6 years ago | (#19173977)


I don't know anyone with a "US" driver's license. I have a Virginia driver's license. Hopefully it will stay that way.

Re:US Driver's license??? (2, Informative)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174063)

I don't know anyone with a "US" driver's license. I have a Virginia driver's license. Hopefully it will stay that way.

You haven't been paying attention [wikipedia.org], have you? The role of a driver's license to simply prove that someone has the requisite expertise to operate a motor vehicle are long gone. Now the federal Department of Homeland Security mandates what states put in the cards, and you'll be required to show your national ID whenever you fly or enter a federal building.

Re:US Driver's license??? (4, Informative)

KD7JZ (161218) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174265)

As a proud citizen of Montana, I am pleased to report that our state told the federal government to "shove it". In the words of our governor, "Never, no, hell no".

Re:US Driver's license??? (2, Interesting)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174395)

Too bad when they required "machine readable" they didn't specify "magnetic". Wisconsin has the super complex bar-codes on the back.

It happened to me. (3, Interesting)

Soloact (805735) | more than 6 years ago | (#19173981)

One early morning, back in the early days of debit cards, I inserted what I thought was my debit card into the ATM. It asked for, and accepted my PIN, gave me account options, then, after a short delay, said that there was no such account and returned my card to me. As I pulled the card out, I realized that I had inserted my Driver's License into the machine, instead of the debit card. I had always thought that the two should work together, as it appears that such interaction had been pre-built into the ATM software, even back then.

Re:It happened to me. (4, Informative)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174079)

The machine asks for some info ahead of time, while it tries to make a network connection and do the validation. This gives you the illusion of speed and interactivity. So after a while, when it finally figures out that it is a dud card, it pops the card back out and forgets whatever you selected.

You can smell the debt already (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174013)

Ever hear the phrase 'Lead me not into temptation?' What with all the people who rack up loads of debt on their credit cards, I wonder what something like this will do, when the key to free stuff now, and debt later, is right in your wallet at all times, and you have to carry it around.

Re:You can smell the debt already (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174073)

I wonder what something like this will do, when the key to free stuff now, and debt later, is right in your wallet at all times, and you have to carry it around.

Um, that's what most people do already.

Besides, methinks you're getting debit and credit cards confused. (Not that credit cards will probably be right on the heels.)

so why not link the two together (4, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174015)

How about no.

Shall we enumerate some of the problems?
Suspended/surrendered license = no money
Hacked debit card = hacked license
numerous swipes = worn card + license. I'd rather not deal with the DMV any more than absolutely required.
What is the benefit for me? Nada.

No fucking way... (2, Interesting)

kcbrown (7426) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174031)

I refuse to use debit cards at all (as opposed to an ATM card or a credit card), because they draw directly from your account and they don't require an independent piece of verification (like a PIN) to use.

But this? This is even worse. At least a debit card can be cancelled in the event it's stolen, even though by then it may be too late. How are you going to cancel your driver's license when the DMV is only open Monday through Friday 8-5?

It's even worse if it makes use of the RFID chip that's embedded in some driver's licenses these days.

No way in hell will I ever opt in for something like this.

You misunderstand the system: (3, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174275)

I refuse to use debit cards at all (as opposed to an ATM card or a credit card), because they draw directly from your account and they don't require an independent piece of verification (like a PIN) to use.

Now that depends on the debit card, doesn't it?

There's nothing to prevent this company, or one like it, from requiring a PIN to transact business when you identify via driver's license.

At least a debit card can be cancelled in the event it's stolen, even though by then it may be too late. How are you going to cancel your driver's license when the DMV is only open Monday through Friday 8-5?

By calling the "card stolen" hotline of N.P.C. and telling them to disconnect your license from your bank account.

Your driver's license is just being used as a key to a database. It's another way to go from a piece of plastic in your pocket to your name and account number - after that it's E-checks on your account with the E-check processing company.

The only real issue I see with this (besides people reading personal data off the plastic) is if the state doesn't make some distinction in the data on the license between a lost/stolen one and the replacement. Without that, once you've had ONE license lost or stolen you can't turn such a service back on for your new driver's license without re-enabling it for the missing one. (Of course you can change the PIN - presuming a PIN is required to use the service.)

Won't work in IL (1)

cwj123 (16058) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174051)

In Illinois we've got a 3D barcode as well as a 2D barcode. No magstripe at all. Looks the the author didn't research his IDs.

make drivers license a target? (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174053)

Right now, drivers licenses are primarily used to show that the person has earned the privilege to drive, and, unfortunately, secondarily, as a means of general identification. Most people are not terrible worried about losing their drivers license and carry it around even if they would not carry large amounts of cash, credit cards, or valuables. For instance, a person jogging down a trail will likely minimize the valuables they carry, but still carry a drivers license and an ipod. If an assault occurs, the assailant will likely be happy to take the ipod.

OTOH, if the drivers license were to be linked to actual cash, then the drivers license might be the most valuable item to steal. And because a pin number is likely required, the person is not likely to be allowed to leave. Rather, the person will be taken hostage until the bank account is cleared, thus increasing the risk of serious injury and death.

The upshot of all this is that people who before might be considered not worth attacking, as they had no valuables, would now become a prime target as they might have a drivers license with them. It seems to me that this is just another case of the desire to integrate overcoming the common sense of safety.

Re:make drivers license a target? (1)

fatduck (961824) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174139)

Yea because your average mugger is so interested in kidnapping people. They always have a getaway van ready to pull up side door open so they can tackle you inside and speed off to the nearest ATM.

Biggest Colossal Mistake (3, Insightful)

Dark Coder (66759) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174067)

The key to successful reduction of identity theft is the ability for revokation NOT only by grantor (state) or clearinghouse (credit bureaus), but most importantly, the grantee (the end-users).

Without the end-user being able to revoke a stolen card, the whole system is worth squat, security-wise.

And none of that clear-text personalized info on the magstrip, thank you very much, NO!

ACH isn't such a good idea... (1)

numbsafari (139135) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174069)

If Gas stations were so into the idea of using ACH then why don't they just accept personal checks??

Because nobody likes bounced checks. That's why.

Sure, you have to deal with chargebacks, etc. But the credit networks provide resolution procedures, etc. for these things that are much better and efficient than those provided by ACH.

Gas stations should really be promoting pre-paid, private network cards so that they can bypass this altogether. What these guys should be providing is not an ACH transaction tied to a bank account, but a prepaid debit account that runs over their own network.

They would earn their money from float and processing fees charged to the account holder. Heck, they could charge a penny per gallon from the merchant and still make a good sum.

Won't work in Michigan; We use Soundex (4, Interesting)

JeffSh (71237) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174111)

Michigan does not use privately assigned numbers for our drivers license numbers. Our drivers license numbers are calculated using a method that's not secret or random or anything.

We use a system that combines soundex codes with date of birth. You can find anyones michigan driver's license number if you know:

First name, Middle Name, Last name, Month of Birth, year of birth.

If you're from michigan, get out your driver's license and see for yourself.
http://www.highprogrammer.com/cgi-bin/uniqueid/dl_ mi [highprogrammer.com]

There are only a few times where it might be a few numbers off. If you happen to share a first name middle name last name month of birth and year of birth, then the last 3 numbers will be off by 1. Besides that, this works really well.

This is great for catching fake ID's. None of the fake ID's bother to calculate the right number. Most bouncers who police doors are familiar enough with the codes to flag fakes quite easily.

It's already to easy... (1, Offtopic)

geek (5680) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174135)

...to go into serious, life crippling debt. We should be working on ways of getting out of debt, not ways to make consumerism even fucking worse than it is now. 50 years ago the average American was saving 10-30% of their income a year as savings. Today it's closer to 2%. To make matters worse banks are tossing out cards like a child molester does candy. Interest only loans are now normal. We're on the verge of a housing collapse because of all the shoddy loans to people over extended as it was.

What possible justification can there be for making it even easier to spend money you don't fucking have? I'm no socialist but I'll be god damned if capitalism means "spend till your ass bleeds"

Re:It's already to easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19174201)

So, you want legislation to protect you from your own stupidity? Look people, you can't have it both ways. You sheep need to start fending for yourselves.

Re:It's already to easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19174459)

How about the justification that a debit card *is* spending money you already had? Rants are all well in good when you know what you're talking about...

Degauss that strip NOW (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19174171)

I ran a great big magnet over my drivers license a long time ago. The data on it is not legally required (though IANAL). The only purpose it serves is to give your personal data to shops that want to "check" your ID (and add to their database).

Someone is going to say it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19174173)

In soviet russia... drivers licence debits YOU!

This is a supremely bad idea (1, Informative)

Okian Warrior (537106) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174227)

If your credit card is stolen, you are only liable for the first $50 of fraudlent charges.

Debit cards give you NO such protection. If your debit card is stolen and used to drain your bank account, you have no recourse but to eat the losses.

Furthermore, since the credit card companies are responsible for managing fraud, they have incentives to use good security practices. Debit card info carriers take the position of "our system is secure, so it must have been your fault".

Many people have been surprised when their bank/ATM cards (which also function as debit cards) are stolen and used fraudulently to drain their account. This is why it's always a good idea to request that your bank issue you an ATM card which cannot be also used as a debit card.

Giving, in essence, everyone a default debit card is a bad idea. Fraud would become endemic.

Re:This is a supremely bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19174343)

not true for every bank. Wells Fargo claimed they'd cover any fraud or stolen use over the first $50 on the debit card just as if it was a credit card.

Depends. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19174415)

I'm pretty sure, while this used to be the case with more generic debit cards, todays modern Visa and Mastercard debit cards are treated just like credit cards as far as fraud and you can't loose your whole bank account in this manner.

Pay the Speeding Ticket Immediately? (5, Insightful)

stoicfaux (466273) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174323)

Err... wouldn't that mean that you could pay a traffic fine immediately? Which translates to:

"Do you really want your state government having easy access to your bank account?"

"How fast will the state legislature pass a law requiring the immediate and direct payment of fines via the license/debit card?"

"A hold has been placed on your account for the amount of the fine. The hold will be removed if you are found innocent. Your court date is in 30 days."

no thanks... (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174329)

I'd rather have my license forcefully taken from me by the authorities than have a damn ATM eat it when I'm drunk and enter the wrong pin enough times to piss it off.

What is the actual purpose? (2, Interesting)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174371)

Aside from the obvious increase in identity thefts risks, I realize that there is a person who thought this up, thinking that one 'all purpose card' would be cool.

I don't think debit cards and driver's licenses should be combined simply because you usually don't carry that many of such cards anyway. What most of us hate is - this problem is applied to women in particular - all the shopping cards people collect. These are the cards that need to be combined into one configurable card, so that people can have only three useful cards. One for shopping discounts, one driver's license and one debit card. But combining them is kind of pointless.

Also, other side effects include situations like not being able to give your husband/wife/daughter/son/xyz your debit card to use at the ATM machine, simply because it is too risky to lend someone a driver's license AND a debit card.

Progression (3, Insightful)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 6 years ago | (#19174439)

Lets make our drivers licences Debit Cards
Hey lets make our drivers licences national ID Cards
Hey lets make everyone in the World have ID cards that can be used as money which makes a world currency
Hey we're too lazy to carry cards anymore, lets have a microchip imbedded in everyone.
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