Illinois requires social security number for fishing license

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Illinois requires social security number

By Tim Renken Of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

04/04/2002

When you buy your new Illinois fishing license this spring, you may be astonished to find that you must give your social security number.

Jim Kearns of south St. Louis was. He was one of a number of people to call this office about the new requirement. Kearns fishes frequently in Illinois and has bought nonresident licenses there for years.

"I think requiring a social security number for something like that is illegal," Kearns said of the requirement, new this year. "Anyhow, it's stupid. One of the most common crimes in the U.S. is identity theft and one of the easiest ways to do that is getting somebody's social security number. I sure don't want to trust my number to that Illinois state bureaucracy."

Two of the people who called about the requirement said that they gave the vendor false numbers. "Every time I'm asked to give my number I make one up," one man said.

Another caller said he decided not to buy an Illinois nonresident license revenue."

The requirement was added to the license application to comply with state and federal law, according to a news release issued by the Department of Natural Resources.

"Individuals are reminded that when they apply for a recreational license or permit from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, they are required by state and federal law to provide their social security number and to certify that they are not delinquent in child support payments," the release states.

"Failure to comply will result in a delay in processing of the license or permit you are seeking and may result in your inability to obtain a license or permit. Individuals who do not comply with the requirement will have their applications returned to them. Unprocessed. This requirement applies to all recreational licenses including hunting and fishing licenses, hunting permits (deer and turkey), boat and snowmobile registrations. It also applies whether you apply directly through the Department of Natural Resources or through IDNR license vendors.

"Disclosure of social security numbers on license and permit application forms is mandatory under both state and federal law. The information is used by the state in its child support enforcement efforts.

"The Department of Natural Resources understands the importance of keeping your social security number confidential, and, in fact, is required by law to keep it confidential. IDNR is prohibited from using the number for any other purpose. License vendors have been advised of the need to keep the information confidential and to protect it just as they would customer credit card information.

"Applicants are also reminded that providing false information on an application, including a social security number, puts an applicant at risk for having privileges revoked and receiving other penalties or fines.

"In 1996 the federal Social Security Act was amended to include a mandatory requirement that states have in effect procedures requiring applicants to disclose their social security numbers on various license and permit applications. The purpose of this Federal legislation was to assist in locating parents who were delinquent, etc., in payment of child support."

Those people who provide false identification numbers should consider this: What if the number they make up happens to be the number of someone who is delinquent in child support payments?
 
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