For Immediate Release: May 16, 2003
Bill Signed by Governor
Henry signed a bill Thursday that requires all Oklahoma driver’s
license applicants to have their fingerprints scanned by a computerized
SB 423, which was authored by Senator Robert
M. Kerr, D-Altus, requires the Department of Public Safety (DPS)
to implement a finger-imaging procedure for those who apply for an original,
renewal or replacement driver’s license or an identification card
at state tag agencies.
“This new technology will provide Oklahomans with a state-of-the-art
tool to prove and protect their identities. Our public safety officials
have said that this technology is better than the traditional ink-and-paper
method of fingerprinting, and I believe it will be of great benefit
to them and to the public,” Senator Kerr said.
According to Senator Kerr, the intent of the bill is to provide a way
that not only helps law enforcement officials do their work more efficiently,
but also helps protect the identities of state residents.
“Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in America
each year, and we have had thousands of victims in Oklahoma over the
last several years. When we start using finger-imaging to supplement
driver’s licenses and identification cards, we will have an added
element of security that helps protect citizens from identity theft
and related crimes,” Senator Kerr added.
Under SB 423, driver’s license and identification card applicants
under the age of 18 will be required to obtain authorization from their
custodial parent or guardian before submitting to the computerized finger-imaging
In addition, the bill prohibits any other state or federal agency other
than DPS from accessing the digital finger image of any state resident
without a court order.
“I wanted to make sure that people would feel secure about how
their information would be used under this legislation. That’s
why only one agency can have regular access to a digital finger image
unless a court deems it absolutely necessary to release it to another
appropriate entity,” Senator Kerr said.
SB 423 will take effect on July 1.
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