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Schaefer Threatens To De-Fund DOR Over Scanned Documents

Marshall Griffin
St.Louis Public Radio

The top budget writer in the Missouri Senate is threatening to de-fund the Department of Revenue’s Motor Vehicles Division if it doesn’t stop scanning documents of applicants for driver’s licenses, conceal-carry endorsements and other licenses.

Republican Kurt Schaefer of Columbia chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee.  He says unless DOR officials begin cooperating and reverse course, he’ll block the state DMV’s budget from being passed.

“The legislature’s not gonna be held hostage by an out-of-control agency, to say, ‘well, yeah, we didn’t tell the public about it, the public doesn’t like it, there are privacy concerns, we’ve now subjected Missourians to massive potential for I-D theft, yet go ahead and give us that money, anyway, and we’ll talk to you later,” Schaefer said.

DOR officials say they began scanning documents for driver’s license and conceal-carry applicants to combat fraud, and that the information will not be shared with the federal government.

Schaefer says DOR officials are violating a 2009 law that forbids compliance with the federal Real ID Act.

“Ultimately, Real ID requires ID verification through a national database,” Schaefer said. “What information is going into the database?  Who has the capability to search it?  We have to know what that is, because if there’s not sufficient privacy protections, then we’re gonna have to make sure those are in place.”

Meanwhile, the Missouri House gave first-round approval Wednesday to a bill that would bar the Department of Revenue from scanning and storing documents for driver’s and non-driver’s license applications.

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