Layton lawmaker links ID theft to Utah public records access

Feb 4 2013 - 11:37am

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Utah State Legislature
Utah State Legislature

SALT LAKE CITY -- Public records shouldn't be an easy gateway for thieves to gain access to key personal information, a local lawmaker argues.

Rep. Stephen Handy, R-Layton, wants to ensure information kept in the glove compartment of a car -- items such as vehicle registration and insurance information -- doesn't become an easy way for burglars to find out where people live, and then exploit them when they are least suspecting.

Handy's bill, HB 79, would modify provisions of state code so motor vehicle registration and insurance information would not contain addresses of the people identified on the documents. His bill received a favorable recommendation from a House transportation committee and has advanced to the House for further consideration.

During a brief presentation to committee members, the former Layton councilman shared an example where thieves had gained address information from a vehicle registration, and eventually used that information to clean out the home of valuables, when the people were away. 

He noted Salt Lake City had a rash of vehicle registration-related thefts this past year.

Rep. Dixon Pitcher, R-Ogden, said removing the addresses from the registration and insurance information would be a good step.

"This stuff is getting more sophisticated. This is a step and it helps. If they (thieves) can't get it this way, they'll get it another way," Pitcher said.

Handy said he has talked to people at the State Tax Commission and to insurance executives who said removing personal addresses on the records, would not be a problem for them.

"People are stealing vehicle registration and ripping people off when they least suspect it," Handy said.

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