NWMO Residents Report Department of Revenue Mishandlings

A northwest Missouri lawmaker says his constituents are reporting document scanning by the Department of Revenue.

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A recent lawsuit alleges the Department of Revenue is collecting personal documents, scanning them, and forwarding the information on to federal agencies.  

Representative Casey Guernsey of Bethany says the Department of Revenue is violating a 2009 state law by basically complying with the federal REAL-ID act.

Representative Casey Guernsey

Representative Casey Guernsey

Guernsey says it started showing up in license offices in November but is now spreading throughout the state as more offices switch technology.

“I actually got an email from a friend of mine who I grew up with who experienced the exact same thing,” Guernsey said.  “The concern is the Department of Revenue is switching out technology that saves source documentation for concealed carry permit holders.

That email came from a constituent from his district in northwest Missouri.  The issue is federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, want the information the Department of Revenue saves.

Meanwhile, Guernsey has cosponsored a bill to strengthen the 2009 law which made the action of sending copies to federal agencies illegal.

“We shouldn’t have to do that because it’s already illegal essentially.  But this is the world we live in where a lot of people interpret laws differently.  So if we have to go in and delineate further what we have already made illegal, then that’s what we have to do and what we are prepared to do,” Guernsey said.

There wasn’t a change in state law, but their was a  rule change within the department of revenue how those drivers licenses are processed and made.

“It wasn’t law that changed how they are doing things, it was a rule and there’s a huge difference,” Guernsey said.  “In 2009 the legislature did pass a law that would prevent them from doing what their evidently doing.”

The original lawsuit was filed in Stoddard County. Guernsey says he’s received emails from people in northwest Missouri who reported the activity in our area.

Stoddard County Prosecutor Russell Oliver is acting as a private attorney in the lawsuit filed by Eric Griffin.

According to the suit, Griffin fulfilled the requirements for a concealed carry permit and was trying to complete the process by having it added to his driver’s license.  The Department of Revenue employee told him his documents would be scanned and saved.  He objected and filed the lawsuit Monday

Earlier this week, Revenue Department spokesman Ted Farnen claimed the “department’s operations are not inconsistent with the statutory protocols.” He declined further comment.

The first of what is likely to be several hearings is scheduled next week.

“We’ve already seen the chairmen of one of the committee’s take on this legislation. I think there’s going to be some investigation from the legislation process as well through his committee and some hearings held,” Guernsey said.  “certainly I think we will see this legislation proposed that I have cosponsored get through this session, at least through the house.”