Crime - Sacto 911

DMV clerk issued phony driver’s licenses and let applicants skip tests, feds say

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Starting Jan. 22, Californians need to apply for a new, federally-approved driver's license or ID before the old ones become invalid for air travel.
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Starting Jan. 22, Californians need to apply for a new, federally-approved driver's license or ID before the old ones become invalid for air travel.

Another worker inside the California Department of Motor Vehicles has been charged with issuing phony driver’s licenses, the latest in a series uncovered by an ongoing federal probe of the agency.

The latest charge comes in an indictment unsealed in federal court in Fresno, where DMV clerk April Mills is charged with four counts of unlawful production of an identification document and aiding and abetting.

Mills, 43, was booked into Sacramento County jail on Tuesday following her arrest by federal Department of Homeland Security agents. She is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court Wednesday in Sacramento.

The indictment said roughly a dozen phony driver’s licenses were issued to individuals after Mills used her access to DMV computers to alter records of individuals seeking Class C licenses to drive passenger vehicles.

In some cases, Mills would alter records to show an individual had passed a written DMV examination when, in fact, they had not, the indictment said.

In others, she would enter false information into computers saying an applicant had an out-of-state license when they actually did not, according to the indictment. That allowed the applicants to skip the behind-the-wheel driving test, according to the indictment.

According to the indictment, Mills worked as a senior motor vehicle technician at the Olive Avenue DMV office in Fresno and issued the phony licenses between March 2012 and June 2013.

Mills could face up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine in the case, which is the latest in a series that federal agents have uncovered. They have found that several clerks allegedly altered records for commercial truck driving licenses that went to applicants who had not passed the required tests.

U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott’s office said four DMV workers pleaded guilty last year in the Sacramento region in the investigation, including one whose actions led to 123 phony commercial driver’s licenses being issued.

Another former DMV clerk was charged last week in a case alleging she used her access to DMV computers to to steal individual’s identities and open phony credit card and bank accounts.

The DMV did not immediately respond Wednesday to a request for comment. The agency previously has declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.

Starting Jan. 22, Californians need to apply for a new, federally-approved driver's license or ID before the old ones become invalid for air travel.

Sam Stanton: 916-321-1091, @StantonSam

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