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Mo. House Hearings On Driver's License Document Scanning Controversy Begin

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated 4:38 p.m.

A Missouri House committee formed to investigate the Department of Revenue’s scanning of driver’s license applicants’ documents has begun two days of hearings into the controversy.

The first witness to testify before the House Bipartisan Investigative Committee on Privacy Protection was Jackie Bemboom, head of the Department of Revenue’s Motor Vehicle and Driver’s License division.  She testified under oath that they are not trying to comply with the federal Real ID Act of 2005, but that several of their procedures coincide with Real ID.

“Like, Real ID asks for the photo to be on the license…Real ID asks for a database, and we’ve been doing a database since 1939,” Bemboom said.

But committee member and Osage County Sheriff Michael Dixon says Revenue officials have complied with 34 out of 39 items, giving the impression that the department is, indeed, trying to comply with Real ID.

Benboom maintained that scanning and storing applicants’ source documents is being done to guard against fraud.

Subpoenas of Nixon administration officials

The panel also wants to subpoena several members of Gov. Jay Nixon's administration to testify about state driver's license procedures.

The committee voted Wednesday to issue subpoenas to five current officials in Nixon administration plus Alana Barragan-Scott, a former Revenue Department director who now sits on the Administrative Hearing Commission.

The committee wants to hear testimony Thursday from Nixon staffers who have served as liaisons to the Revenue Department, which oversees driver's licenses. Those staff members include Doug Nelson, Kristy Manning, Jeff Harris, Chris Pieper and Peter Lyskowski.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter: @MarshallGReport

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.