Commissioner Fox, Attorney General
Samsonunveil Document Fraud Task Force
New, in-house document fraud
trainingmandatory for all Agency staff
Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox and Attorney General David Samson announced today the creation of joint Document Fraud Task Force that will staunch the flow of illegally obtained DMV credentials.
Members of the Task Force developed a new document fraud curriculum mandatory for all DMV employees that will help them detect bogus documents presented by people applying for New Jersey driver’s licenses and auto registrations. The new training program is one of a series of corrective measures recommended by Governor McGreevey’s Fix DMV Commission.
The Governor tasked Commission members in April to begin a review the troubled state agency and come up with a plan for its overhaul. Commission members will present a comprehensive report, with specific proposals for improving all aspects of the agency from technology to security to customer service, on Nov. 7.
An interim report in August was issued to address pressing security issues. The Commission recommended that DMV immediately institute document fraud training for the 500 employees at the department’s 46 agencies statewide. DMV staff, working in conjunction with the NJ State Police, the Attorney General’s Office and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, developed a curriculum and a unit dedicated to training staff. Since August, more than 50 employees at five agencies have received the training.
"Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks last year, it has become painfully clear that an illegally obtained driver’s license is a dangerous weapon in the hands of a criminal," said Transportation Commissioner Fox. "Under Governor McGreevey’s direction we’ve taken concrete steps to protect our documents. This task force will guarantee continued cooperation between the law enforcement community and the DMV as we move ahead with our reforms."
"The critical importance of the homeland security aspects of the issuance of a New Jersey drivers' license can't be overstated," said Attorney General David Samson. "In our new world of increased danger, we need to take every precaution to ensure that the identity of those applying for licenses and car registrations in our state is carefully verified. The DMV's training program is an important component of this effort."
DMV reform has resulted in the arrest of 60 people in the past six months, including 12 DMV employees, accused of trafficking in fraudulent documents. A joint investigation between the DMV, the State Police and the Attorney General’s Office resulted in 36 indictments in June on charges related to the fraudulent issuance of New Jersey driver’s licenses.
Commissioner Fox said the document fraud training has increased arrests at agencies as staff become proficient at spotting phony documents. In the past month, 18 people have been charged with presenting fraudulent documents at the Lodi regional center.
The mandatory, in-house training for agency employees was determined to be necessary by the Commission. Previously, training was sporadic and provided only for State DMV employees.
Since Governor McGreevey made DMV reform a priority, Commissioner Fox and DMV Director Diane Legreide have instituted a number of measures to protect the integrity of DMV documents. The number of DMV fraud investigators has been doubled and more will be added. Background investigations, for the first time, were conducted on all 500 DMV agency employees. In addition to the arrest of 12 employees, another 27 were terminated as part of the effort to root out corruption and improve customer service.