No-cost cards protect youths from ID theft

Sequim Gazette staff

Identity theft is epidemic across the U.S. Even children can find themselves victims of this crime.

You can help protect your child by participating in a new program sponsored by the Coalition for a
Secure Driver’s License, a Wash-ington, D.C., nonprofit organization.

Through a grant from the organization, the Sequim and Port Angeles Boys & Girls Clubs are helping area children obtain “enhanced identification cards” at no cost.

To sign up your child, just go the Department of Licensing office in Port Angeles and follow the procedures.

A parent or legal guardian can prove the identity of children under 18, but the parent or legal guardian must live in Washington and must be able to present acceptable documents to prove identity, residence and his or her relationship to the child under 18.

The cost is $35; just bring your receipt to the Boys & Girls Club in either Port Angeles or Sequim and they will refund your money.

The enhanced ID card also can be used in place of a passport in some travel to Canada or Mexico.

The Department of Licensing says when a child has his or her photo taken for the ID card, the photograph is analyzed by facial recognition software to prevent identity crimes and fraud.

The software creates a template based on facial features that aren’t easy to alter, such as cheekbones and the distance between the eyes.

This template can be compared against the profiles in the database to keep others from stealing the child’s identity by using his or her Social Security number or other personal data.

The program is now under way and will be for a while said Stephen Rosales, volunteer coordinator with the Boys & Girls Clubs. Rosales said more than 130 children signed up for the program last year. They’re hoping for an even larger turnout this year.


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