First and foremost, keep your driver’s licence in a secure place on your person so you can provide this information, if requested, to law enforcement. Avoid putting it into an open purse or large pocket where it may be easily stolen or fall out. Avoid leaving it in plain view inside your vehicle.
When in your home and not operating your vehicle, carry your driver’s licence in a secure place.
- Never leave your driver’s licence carelessly lying around, especially if you employ outside help or where thieves or strangers looking into your house can easily see it.
Do not put an expired driver’s licence or any other document with personal information into your garbage or recycling bin without first cutting it into small pieces or shredding it.
- This helps guard against “dumpster diving” by identity thieves who attempt to retrieve personal information in your garbage or recycling bin so they can steal your identity and obtain credit, goods and/or services in your name.
Never leave briefcases, purses and duffel bags in plain view inside your vehicle.
- Regardless of what these actually contain, thieves who think these may contain valuables could be tempted to break into your vehicle.
Always remember to retrieve your driver’s licence immediately if you present it as a form of identification.
- Never leave it as a security deposit – it contains valuable personal information that could be used to perpetrate fraud.
Never provide your driver’s licence number or other personal information in response to an unsolicited Internet, telephone or mail request.
- If you are unsure, contact the organization directly and satisfy yourself that the request is legitimate and warranted. Find out who will have access to it, why it is needed and what safeguards are in place to prevent unauthorized use.
Consider photocopying the identification in your wallet and storing the photocopies securely in your home.
- If your wallet is lost or stolen, having photocopies of your cards on hand should make it easier for you to notify and advise the appropriate institutions.
If you lose your wallet, report the loss immediately to the police.
- The Government of Ontario website has some valuable tips outlining what action you should take to protect yourself.
- If your driver’s licence is lost, stolen or damaged, contact a Driver and Vehicle Licence Issuing Office.
- For more information, see Replacing a Lost, Stolen or Damaged Driver’s Licence at www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/driver/replace.shtml or call the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Call Centre at 416-235-2999 or toll free at 1-800-387-3445.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being a victim of identity theft, in addition to immediately notifying the police, report the incident to PhoneBusters – National Call Centre: 1-888-495-8501 (toll free). For more information, visit www.phonebusters.com
- PhoneBusters gathers information and intelligence about identity theft and provides advice and assistance to victims.
For additional information on protecting yourself from identity theft, visit the website of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario at www.ipc.on.ca,Ministry of Transportation Driver and Vehicle Licensing Call Centre 416-235-2999 or toll free at 1-800-387-3445