By JORDAN SHAPIRO
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri senators who are upset about the state's new driver's licensing procedures were briefed about the new system in 2011, but were never told that local license office clerks would be making copies of applicant's personal documents to be kept in a state database, according to newly obtained records.
Republican lawmakers have raised concerns that documents such as concealed gun endorsements and birth certificates are being scanned into a computer system as part of a new driver's license application process. They fear that state officials may share the information with federal authorities or a private contractor, although senior officials in the state Revenue Department, which issues driver's licenses, have denied those assertions.
An audio recording of a January 2011 Senate Appropriations Committee hearing that was provided to The Associated Press shows that Alana Barragan-Scott, who was then the Revenue Department director, didn't mention that records would be copied and kept in a state computer system while she was describing the new process to senators.
Barragan-Scott was testifying before the committee to request almost $300,000 in postage to be used to mail the driver's licenses. The new plan, currently in effect, requires applicants to present the necessary documents at local licensing offices while having a picture taken. Instead of immediately being issued a license, they then receive a license by mail 7-10 days later.
The audio recording reveals that senators quizzed Barragan-Scott for over 15 minutes about the new license plan, but the questioning focused mainly on no longer having the convenience of receiving a driver's license from one of roughly 180 local offices. A couple of committee members did ask how the new system would enhance security, but never asked and were not told if the new security measures included scanning and retention of personal documents.