Q: What is the IDENTITY THEFT VERIFICATION PASSPORT program?
A: Attorney General Jim Petro created the IDENTITY THEFT VERIFICATION PASSPORT program, a unique program which provides victims of identity theft a method of demonstrating to law enforcement and creditors that their identity has been stolen, and of rehabilitating their credit history and identifying any fraudulent criminal charges.
Q: How do I apply to get a PASSPORT card?
A: You must first file a police report with your local law enforcement about your identity being stolen. Once a law enforcement officer verifies the information in your report, you will be able to fill out the PASSPORT application with the law enforcement officer.
Q: How do I file for a PASSPORT card?
A: The process is simple; the law enforcement officer will take your picture, fingerprint and ask you to sign the application. You will give the officer a phone number that you want to be used to activate your card. Then, the officer will attach the police report you filled out and send all the information to the Attorney General’s Office.
Q: Why do you need my photo, signature and fingerprint?
A: These will be used as identifiers for you. If someone tries to assume your identity again, law enforcement and creditors can check these identifiers to determine that they are dealing with an imposter, and stop a new identity theft crime. Likewise, if law enforcement or creditors are suspicious that you may be an offender, they can verify that you are the actual identity theft victim.
Q: If someone commits a crime in my name, can this card help prevent me from being arrested?
A: The card will provide officers with information that can assist them in questioning a crime you are falsely accused of committing, and may prevent or reduce any detention that would otherwise have resulted.
Q: Is there an activation process for the card?
A: The card must be activated by the victim by calling a verification phone number they listed on their PASSPORT application.
Q: What security measures are in place so that someone can’t get a PASSPORT card and use it to impersonate me?
A: A photo, digital signature and fingerprint are three identifiers taken and entered by law enforcement into OHLEG, a secure web site created by Attorney General Jim Petro for Ohio’s law enforcement to share information. These identifiers will be used to verify identification of anyone claiming to be you. The card must be activated by the victim by calling a verification phone number from the phone number they listed on their PASSPORT application. If an identity theft victim loses their PASSPORT card, the Attorney General’s Office will de-active their card and a completely new application and card must be made.
Q: Is this program done anywhere else?
A: The Department of Justice provided a grant for the program in hopes that it would provide a pilot for other states to follow.
Q: Should I get a PASSPORT card to prevent my ID from being stolen?
A: The PASSPORT program is for those that have already had their identity stolen and filed a police
Q: If my identity was stolen in 2000, would I be able to get a card now?
A: There is a seven-year retroactive limit beginning on December 14, 2004. You would still need to go to where you filed your original police report and fill out the PASSPORT application. Only Ohio law enforcement can fill out the PASSPORT application form.
Q: Is there a number to call to talk to someone about the PASSPORT program?
A: Yes, (888) MY-ID-4-ME [(888) 694-3463].
Q: How much does this system cost to law enforcement?
A: The computer program and equipment used to take the picture, fingerprint, and signature are provided free of charge by the Attorney General’s Office to law enforcement so that it will be accessible to all Ohioans.
Q: What is the National Notary Association (NNA)?
A: Notaries have long served to prevent fraud and protect property and individual rights. NNA has developed biometric technologies to help notaries prevent identity theft crimes. Since 1957, the NNA has been the nation’s professional notary organization, and is committed to the development of notaries throughout the United States by providing education, support and advocacy. The NNA is dedicated to furthering the role of the notary, including educating lawmakers, businesses and state officials on the notary’s ever-expanding role in fraud prevention and Homeland Security issues. The NNA works with notaries nationwide to instill in them, as public officials, the highest ethical standards of conduct and notarial practice. More information on the National Notary Association can be found at www.nationalnotary.org.
To view online information regarding Identity Theft: www.oacp.org and click on Passport Program