Information Security & Online License Renewal

The North Carolina House passed a bill that would let you renew your driver's license online, by mail, or by the phone. You wouldn't even be required to take a new picture or pass an exam.

A News 2 viewer posted a comment on our Facebook page that caught our attention. He said "People already steal your identity... this is just a new way to do it"

So we took a closer look at the bill's text to see if legislators had taken information security into consideration. At first glance, it's not specified in the wording. The bill's text said renewal will be done by "secure" means, and that the person will "attest to" the information. It goes on to say a person can not do the remote renewals twice in a row, that the previous renewal has to have been in-person.

But we weren't 100% satisfied with that. So we contacted bill co sponsor and Guilford County Representative Pricey Harrison. She reached out to the bill's primary sponsors who said Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia already use online renewal and have been for a number of years, without reporting any significant identity theft issues. They also said the login and verification is similar to online banking. Their understanding is that you will go online and create a profile and receive a pin number that is unique to the individual.

Remember, the bill is still in committee and could be changed in the Senate and have to be signed by Governor Pat McCrory before it would become law.


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