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Anti-Fraud Bill Would Give DEO Access To Florida Driver’s License Database

Florida Capitol Building in Tallahassee

Florida Capitol Building in Tallahassee. Source: WikiMedia Commons

The Department of Economic Opportunity believes it needs access to the state driver’s license database to stop reemployment assistance fraud. State House lawmakers are one step closer to giving it to the agency as part of a bill filed by a central Florida Republican.

The Department of Economic Opportunity – DEO for short – administers the state’s unemployment assistance program. The agency and St. Cloud Representative Mike LaRosa argue fraud is a major problem.

“When suspicious claims are identified by DEO, DEO requires claimants to provide a photo ID,” said LaRosa. “Some of the IDs that are provided are also fraudulent, either using their own photo or sometimes a stolen photo with someone else’s identifying information.”

LaRosa’s measure gives the state agency access to Florida’s driver’s license database to double-check applicants are who they say they are. It’s a longstanding request from the DEO, but many critics argue its aggressive pursuit of fraud delays legitimate benefits.

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