Statement From Senator Flanagan Regarding Dmv Technology Problems

John J. Flanagan

October 24, 2007

Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) today resumed his call for Governor Eliot Spitzer to withdraw his proposal to allow those in the country illegally to obtain driver's licenses following a story in the Albany Times Union that highlights serious problems with the technology that will be used to administer this plan.

Today's story cited state government sources who claimed that the scanning machines the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) plans to use to verify identities were accepting fraudulent documents as legitimate. Further, the story stated that even those documents that were obviously fake were being approved by the technology.

Senator Flanagan has been working with his colleagues to end the Governor's attempt to weaken the DMV requirements. In June, he sponsored legislation that passed the Senate that would have made Pataki administration's policy in New York State law.

And this week, he sponsored additional legislation that will strengthen licensing requirements, require proof of legal standing and calls for licenses to expire when a person's authorized stay in the country ends.

Both pieces of legislation are in the Assembly awaiting action.


While I am pleased that the DMV fraud unit has uncovered this obvious security problem, I lack the confidence in this process to believe that this will persuade Governor Spitzer to delay the implementation of his shortsighted policy.

I, along with others, have repeatedly been questioning the verification process that is the backbone of Governor Spitzer's plan and, unfortunately, our doubts are being realized. On a policy change this important, this system of verification should have been thoroughly examined before any changes were proposed and certainly well before the state is only six weeks from handing licenses to those who are in our country illegally.

This discovery should send a clear signal to Governor Spitzer that the open discussion he intentionally bypassed and that it is clearly time to slow down. It is time to allow the public to have its say and to bring this debate into the light of day.

Governor Spitzer needs to allow common sense back into the process and he needs to realize that leadership sometimes involves listening to the facts and to the people he represents.

Click Here to Read Newsday's October 25th Story TO SEND AN E-MAIL TO SENATOR FLANAGAN, PLEASE CLICK HERE.