A former director of the Missouri department that issues driver's licenses says the agency did not take steps to comply with the federal Real ID Act after passage of a state law prohibiting it.
Alana Barragan-Scott led the Revenue Department from July 2009 until late December 2012. She testified Wednesday before two legislative panels investigating the handling of driver's licenses by Governor Jay Nixon's administration.
Perhaps in an effort to put an end to an ongoing political battle over the practice, Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation blocking the Department of Revenue from scanning and storing documents required to get a driver's license.
Legislation is on its way to Governor Jay Nixon (D) that would forbid the Missouri Department of Revenue from scanning and storing source documents of driver's license and non-driver's license applicants.
The Missouri House has approved legislation barring the state Revenue Department from scanning the personal documents of drivers' license applicants into a state computer system.
The House passed the measure 118-40 on Tuesday. It now returns to the Senate.
The Revenue Department began scanning documents, such as birth certificates and concealed weapons permits, in December. Agency officials say it provides more security to licensing. But Republican lawmakers objected to the procedures and argue it is an invasion of privacy.
Missouri senators trying to target budget cuts at the agency that issues driver's licenses may have instead blocked funding for the registration of boats and mobile homes.
The Senate passed a budget plan late Monday that eliminates the entire $3.5 million allotment for the Motor Vehicle and Driver Licensing Division.
During debate, senators said the proposed cut could halt the issuance of driver's licenses. They described it as negotiating leverage to get additional information from state officials about the data collected from driver's license applicants.
Missouri drivers will see changes in their driver's licenses beginning this year.
The Department of Revenue says new licenses will have security features such as special printing, laser perforations and bar codes. The state says the changes are designed to protect the owner's identity and fight fraud.