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MaggieD

What do the numbers on your driver's license mean?

I know there are some codes in there -- anybody know?
MrBreeze:

Florida Drivers License
I will use random numbers to describe...

Mine starts with H220- Everyone with the that at the beginning has my last name (hughes)

The second set 243 is a soundex code you must use a chart, it shows your first name and middle initial

the next set is the year so lets say 67

This is where it gets tricky... now you take the month of your birth lets say 5 (march) you subtract 1 = (4) multiply by 40 = (160) add the day 17 = (177)

The above is for males, females do the same but add either 400 or 500 I can't remember which srry

and the last number is usually a 0 but if you have another number it refers to someone with the exact same name (duplicate drivers under same name need a distinguishing character)

so here's the FL DL i just made, try the code on your own if you don't believe me

H220-last name
243-first and middle initial
67-year of birth
177-math equation with month day ect
0-how many with same name

H220-243-67-177-0

Know_it_All:

Hi MaggieD

Each state uses a different system. Many states used your SSN for a long time, glad they changed from that!.

What is typical is a set of letters and numbers based off of your name, and birth date. Other information may be included such as the location of where you got the license. Most states use a "check digit" system so that officers, and sellers of alcohol and tobacco can verify the license is valid visually.

While many states are going to card-swipe type licenses, machines that read them are still rare, I saw my first one in a local business last week.

Because not all officers in all areas will EVER always have an encoding machine, you drivers record is not included on the strip on the back. The information on the strip is either a digital copy of the information on the front, or a code that officers can use to access your drivers history on the state's database, and from there they can indirectly access your criminal record.

With the quality and low price of printing supplies, fake licenses are a problem. While many are used for getting into bars, there is a real risk of fraud too. I collect about 500 fakes a year here and some were found to be fake only by luck.

.:

by entering your number they can access the same info that they can get by swiping the card, right? i know that every cruiser in this state has a strip reader, and ive watched my entire driving history, and more, pop up on their screen. if they can do this, so can someone else, security on these data bases are notoriously insecure. as a matter of record, the system was hacked for ss#s (which are included in the data base) by identity thieves. this was hidden by the dps and denied until the story broke and they were confronted by the evidence(someone working for the paper hacked in themselves)
all thats required is a unique number tied to the data base. what bothers me about someone else swiping the card is that they can possibly access the same info. and it really isnt anyone elses business, certainly not my ss#!
perhaps i explained it too simplistictly, regardless, the strip includes personal info that can be accessed by anyone who swipes it.
are you saying that the # on the front can access the same info, or is it that the strip is a shortcut?

in the old days an officer would call in your #(and yeah, it used to be your ss#, and still is unless you request a different one), and wait while they ran you through the system. now, at least here, the results are instantaneous. there is no way that the units in the cruisers can contain all the data on all the drivers on their machines. doesnt that means the data has to be contained in the strip itself? the info was on the screen as soon as the card was swiped, there was no delay at all, not one second. because of this, and my buddy showing me, i maintain that the info is contained on the strip. certainly the # can be typed in for the same result, but that takes some time.

.:

of course, someone can get tickets after the card is issued. so that info couldnt be on the strip...
but youre basic stuff can be, your ss# for instance. even the access code or number is bad in the wrong hands, isnt it?
but thinking over this, i must be wrong, at least in part, if not on everything. dam!! i still dont understand how the data transfer can be so fast though.
im guilty of sloppy thinking again, apologies to all.

LBSK622:

how can all current driving history be on the magnetic strip? the dmv does not have access to it from the original date of issue.
in california, with a good driving record, you can renew your license by mail twice. that means 12 years before they issue a new license with a new picture and new magnetic strip.

.:

and here a license is good for ten years, but i guess you've read above. i am an idiot...

Know_it_All:

Your state still uses ssn#????? (gillan101) I agree, no matter how secure, it's a bad idea. It puts too much info in one place.


The state liquor store showed me their card reader. It had no display other than to indicate the license was genuine (used another states license, as most of ours still don't have any encoding.

Rest assured though, in most of the identity theft cases I've had across my desk, the information has willingly been given to the crooks by the victim, usually through some sort of scam.

The second most frequent source has been through lost or stolen credit cards.

In nearly 20 years, I have never personally seen anyone suffer a loss from showing an ID for a purchase, or from losing just their driver's license. Not that it can't happen, but it is the least of your privacy worries.

.:

thanks for filling this in. i am sorry for spouting off without thinking it through and leaving people with the wrong idea.
i know the reasons why, but theres no excuse...
time to go back to the real free and quit dragging gillans rep through the mud.( wish i could erase this.)

MaggieD:

@ Ski -- great answer! Thank you very much. Quite informative. I know my date of birth is in my D/L number -- as well as it starting with the first letter of my last name. Your explanation makes perfect sense.
@ Free--Gillan101, eh???!!!! Ha!! Love your posts...!!

MrBreeze:

Florida Drivers License
I will use random numbers to describe...

Mine starts with H220- Everyone with the that at the beginning has my last name (hughes)

The second set 243 is a soundex code you must use a chart, it shows your first name and middle initial

the next set is the year so lets say 67

This
is where it gets tricky... now you take the month of your birth lets
say 5 (march) you subtract 1 = (4) multiply by 40 = (160) add the day
17 = (177)

The above is for males, females do the same but add either 400 or 500 I can't remember which srry

and
the last number is usually a 0 but if you have another number it refers
to someone with the exact same name (duplicate drivers under same name
need a distinguishing character)

so here's the FL DL i just made, try the code on your own if you don't believe me

H220-last name
243-first and middle initial
67-year of birth
177-math equation with month day ect
0-how many with same name

H220-243-67-177-0

.:

all the info is in that strip on the back. i think the number on the front is just sequencial.
wal-fart swipes your card when you buy booze. this is a gross breach of privacy and you should never let them do that. your entire driving record, and much more is encoded in that strip...

________________________:

Really..............??? I didn't' know that. This world is getting so complex isn't it?

MaggieD:

WOW!!!!! I never knew that!!!! Thank you, Gillan101!! Nobody swipes it that I know of in Illinois, but I will keep what you've said in mind. It's nobody's business.

DogsRmylife:

Good info to know. Will have my guard up and refuse if ever Wal-fart ask for my license.

.:

ps - after reading ski's answer, and making a fool of myself arguing about it, (talking to myself again), i have to concede his point that the info is not on the strip. maybe your ss#, then again, maybe not.
i have my reasons for thinking (if that word applies) what ive said, but it just doesnt hold water. i am going to find out though, just because i hate being wrong, and because i want to know exactly what is on it.
im sorry to have mis-led anyone, please disregard this answer...

GDW:

In Arizona we just have 1 letter and the rest are numbers. But I never thought about it being a code. Hmmmmm.

MaggieD:

Maybe it's an Illinois thing...never thought about it.

________________________:

I really don't know what they mean. I think they are probably assigned when you first apply for the license.

MaggieD:

Thanks, Kinkley. I looked at my D/L because of Gillan's comment -- and SURE ENOUGH!!! Huh!

DogsRmylife:

The numbers on the front DO mean something. It was explained to me once by a woman who works in a Casino that (at least here in Florida) your first initial, age when you applied at that office, last two numbers of year of birth and something which I have forgotten now. It is not just a series of numbers. "The Man" knows everything about us, you can bank on it!

MaggieD:

Thanks, Haggis!! That's what I thought, too. But I don't remember!!

.:

mine has dob and issue/expiration date separate from the number.
when i lost my old one, i checked the number on mine from the next person and it was different only at the last digit, thats why i supposed it was sequential.

Geen:

In some states the number/code uses soundex coding or some state specific code that may include name or initials, birthday or just year, as for arizona i don't know how that state breaks down there code but be sure it just has to do with your name and birthday (parts of it anyway)

MaggieD:

Thank you, MizzAna! And welcome to QnA!

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