Criminals are still able to obtain fake drivers licenses or official IDs under multiple names in multiple states, despite progress by all 50 states in preventing other types of identity fraud, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

According to an article from, GAO investigators were able to obtain five drivers licenses under different identities in three different states using counterfeit documents including birth certificates and Social Security cards.

“In each state, investigative staff obtained genuine licenses under fictitious identities – combinations of name, date of birth, and SSN that do not correspond to any real individuals,” states a GAO report to Congress.

In two of the states, the investigators got multiple licenses under false identities, and most of the attempts resulted in the issue of permanent or temporary licenses “in about 1 hour or less,” says the report. “In only one case did a front-counter clerk appear to question the validity of one of the counterfeit documents, but this clerk did not stop the issuance process.”

According to the GAO, people crossing state lines for obtain fraudulent documents remains a “challenge” for states, the article says.

Brian Zimmer, President of the Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License, noted in a press release that the GAO investigators used “the same techniques used by the 9/11 terrorists” to obtain false licenses, the article says.

The GAO has recommended that Congress enact legislation enhancing state driver licensing agencies’ ability under the REAL ID Act to combat license fraud. In addition, the GAO recommends that while national systems to detect cross-state and birth certificate fraud are in development, the Secretary of Homeland Security should work with state agencies to develop and implement an interim strategy for addressing cross-state driver license fraud, the article says.