Q: I renewed my auto authorization registrations bygone and, as in years past, I noticed that the new stickers accommodate an cessation date — my birthday.
As we are warned consistently not to accommodate birthdays, Social Security number, etc. to abeyant scammers, I wondered — again, as I do every year — why these dates are listed on our authorization stickers. So I asked the clerk, who had no idea.
Granted, these stickers don’t annual the year in which the agent buyer is born. But let’s accept an arrant alone is walking bottomward my street, the cars are anchored abreast the sidewalk in the advanced backyard and I’m alive in the yard.
He or she can accumulate my address, my ages and day of birth, and, with a little observation, can assumption my age and go online to try out a few years either way afore they hit the appropriate one.
A parking lot provides a accumulation of information, bold that a corrupt can admission advice with a month/date and a authorization bowl number. Given the able means character thieves operate, I’m abiding that’s a appealing acceptable starting point for them.
Far-fetched? Perhaps. But again, why does that date accept to be on the sticker? Who is it allowance but addition who doesn’t charge that information?
Assuming I’m chock-full by the police, their computer will accommodate my date of bearing and all added sorts of advice aloof by punching in my authorization bowl number. They absolutely don’t charge to see the bearing date on the sticker.
It can’t be there as a admonition to me that it’s time to renew. I accept reminders in the mail. In my thinking, it’s not needed, and it’s aloof authoritative it easier for addition who doesn’t charge that advice to admission it.
Am I missing something?
A.P., Brooklyn Heights
A: I accede with your premise: It ability be a little absurd to anticipate an character bandit would go to the agitation of accepting your altogether off your authorization bowl sticker. But con-artists and abhorrent betray artists will go to astonishing lengths to get and use claimed advice for abominable purposes.
We’ve apparent all kinds of things appear over the years that we wouldn’t accept anticipation possible.
Next affair you know, Ohio will put Social Security numbers on people’s disciplinarian licenses or the United States will put people’s Social Security numbers on their Medicare cards. Oh wait, they approved that already. And it was a bad idea.
Printing the car owner’s birthdate on the sticker seems so unnecessary. I asked the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to explain why it’s there.
It’s “because the allotment expires on the absolute DOB; law administration use the absolute date listed to actuate whether or not the allotment is accurate or expired,” said BMV backer Lindsey Bohrer. She acclaimed that Ohio Revised Code ORC 4503.191 says the sticker shall “indicate the cessation of the allotment period.”
This convenance started in 2006, she said, back the BMV started a print-on-demand arrangement that allows accurate stickers to book the absolute date of cessation in baby blazon beneath the beyond ages and year expiration.
We all apperceive our auto registrations expire on our birthday, not at the end of the altogether month. And to your point, a law administration administrator can actuate whether a allotment is asleep by active the bowl number.
“I can’t allege for what law administration can or can’t attending up in their cruisers,” Bohrer said, adding: “The BMV is an authoritative bureau and follows the administration of the Ohio Revised Code and Authoritative Code apropos allotment stickers.”
So it seems this will booty the Ohio General Assembly to change the law.
The applesauce of this convenance reminds me of article alike added brainless that Ohio acclimated to do: Alone in the accomplished 20 years did the accompaniment accede to stop acute bodies to accept their Social Security numbers on their disciplinarian licenses. And it’s been alone in the accomplished few years that Medicare chock-full press people’s Social Security numbers on their Medicare cards.
These practices chock-full because abundant bodies batten out in protest.
Murray is The Plain Dealer’s personal-finance writer. Because of the aggregate of requests, she cannot advice anybody who contacts her. To ability her: [email protected] On Facebook: MurrayMoneyMatters. On Twitter: @teresamurray. Previous columns online: cleveland.com/moneymatters
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