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Washington, U.S.A. — Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to Zhang Yesui, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in the United States, regarding recent reports detailing how individuals can obtain high quality counterfeit driver’s licenses from websites operated by companies based in China.
Brian Zimmer, President of the Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License applauded the Senators’ letter:
“Senators Grassley, Kirk, Harkin, and Durbin took an important step for national security today. Counterfeit driver’s licenses pose many risks to public safety and national security. It’s extremely important that the highest levels of the Chinese government be made aware that criminal entrepreneurs operating from their country are undermining the counter terrorism security apparatus of the United States. China faces its own threats from terrorism, and has previously pledged to be a responsible partner in the global war against terrorism.”
Over the past few years, several Chinese-based websites have begun to profit from providing counterfeit driver’s licenses. These websites allow an individual to insert a digital photo and biographic information that typically includes a false age and often a false name into the current state-issued driver’s license or identification card template. The individual then wires $200.00 to the Chinese company and receives two counterfeit driver’s licenses a few weeks later (prices are lower for orders made in bulk). One website contains templates for driver’s licenses for more than 20 states. Mr. Zimmer stated:
The identity card counterfeiting industry in China has expanded exponentially to produce highly sophisticated counterfeits of the driver’s licenses in more than twenty states, and is also producing immigration and work permit documents for customers intending to use them for illegal purposes. The terrorist who blew up a tourist bus in Bulgaria used a fake Michigan driver’s license to hide his real identity, so the risks inherent in exporting thousands of fake driver’s licenses should be self-evident to Chinese security officials.”
The Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License is a non-partisan, not for profit, crime prevention education public charity, supported by donor contributions from across the United States.
The CSDL slogan, “Working to protect the identity of every American”, embodies our commitment to higher standards for both government and private entities that issue identity credentials, especially state agencies that issue driver’s licenses and ID cards. CSDL undertakes research projects addressing best practices for DMVs, compliance with federal laws and regulations, identity fraud prevention and related identity management topics. CSDL provides research results and educational programs to the public and to state and federal officials and is a member of the Document Security Alliance and the American.