Your Driving Licence and your Passport
Two of the most important documents you will ever have in your possession are your driving licence and your passport. These documents not only entitle you to drive legally in the United Kingdom and other countries in the European Union but they also allow you to travel through any country in the world.
However a downside to this is the fact that these documents – should they fall into the wrong hands – may be used to allow other individuals to do the same and possibly commit criminal offences whilst doing so.
Your Driving LicenceOne of two pieces of photographic ID that many institutions require as proof of identity, your driving licence can be used not only to prove that you are a fully qualified – or indeed learner driver – but also that you are who you say you are.
Institutions such as banks and building societies require that you produce your driving licence as a means of photographic ID because not only does it show your face in pictorial form, it also accompanies information as to your address, name and date of birth, as documented and recognised by a government body.
In the past driving licences could be easily forged which is way the paper driving licence was eventually phased out in favour of the photocard version. It must be said however that as documentation has evolved be it driving licences or passports, so too have the ways in which they can be counterfeited.
What Information Can be Found on My Driving Licence?The most common pieces of information to be found on your driving licence are:
- Date of Birth
- Driver’s Number
- The Vehicles You Can Drive
To most of us this information is standard and something we do not concern ourselves too much with but in the hands of an identity fraudster this information can be worth a considerable amount of money.
Not only can an identity thief use this information in order to try and open bank accounts illegally or to obtain money by deception but the driving licence itself can be altered to show the face of another individual but still show your details.
This is useful in the procurement of driving licences amongst the illegal immigrant community and indeed among individuals who are not legally obliged to drive because they have been disqualified.
Your PassportYour passport contains as much useful information for an identity thief as your driving licence and again includes your photograph. Recognised also as a means of proving identity for banks and building societies your passport – if in the wrong hands – can provide information for an identity thief that might result in your wrongly being accused of obtain money by deception or indeed travelling to and from countries you have never visited.
Your passport includes the following information:
- Your Passport Number
- Your Surname
- Your Given Names
- Your Nationality
- Your Date of Birth
- Your Sex
- Your Place of Birth
- The Issue Date
- The Expiry Date
- Your Signature
All of this information – along with your photograph – can provide an identity thief with the basic information required to commit fraud or allow those wishing to evade detection by the authorities safe passage in and out of the country.
Looking after Your Passport and Driving LicenceAlways keep your passport in a safe place. It is a document that you will not need often unless you travel a lot so keep it locked in a drawer or filing cabinet.
If you are carrying your driving licence with you do not leave it in your car. Keep it about your person in a pocket or wallet that is not easily gotten at. This is especially important as identity thieves are also known to be excellent at picking the pockets of unsuspecting victims.
Do not leave your passport in your vehicle for long periods of time or leave it in a vehicle overnight. If you are leaving your car parked overnight make sure your driving licence and any other information pertaining to your identity is with you at all times.