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Introduced Version Senate Bill 550 History

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Senate Bill No. 550

(By Senator Barnes)

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[Introduced February 9, 2012; referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure; then to the Committee on the Judiciary; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

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A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §17B-2-6a, relating to providing a religious exemption to the collection of Social Security numbers and information usable with biometric information when issuing driver’s licenses; and rule-making authority.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §17B-2-6a, to read as follows:

ARTICLE 2. ISSUANCE OF LICENSE, EXPIRATION AND RENEWAL.

§17B-2-6a. Biometric driver license religious exemption.

    (a) Beginning on the effective date of this section, the Division of Motor Vehicles or other state agency or department charged with motor vehicle registration or operation, the issuance or renewal of driver licenses or the issuance or renewal of any identification cards, shall modify the application to include the following statement:

“BIOMETRIC AND SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION: Because of my religious beliefs, I object to enrollment in a biometric identification system, such as facial recognition and digital fingerprinting, that directly connects my body to identification and financial transactions, the linking of my social security number to biometric identification, personal-biometric information sharing and to identification using radio frequency identification (RFID) or similar technologies.”

    (b) Any applicant signing, or by other means indicating agreement with, the “Biometric and Social Security Number Religious Exemption” is exempt from supplying a social security number for the issuance of a new, replacement or renewed, noncommercial driver license, learner permit, Class D license or identification card.

    (c) Any applicant signing, or by other means indicating agreement with, the “Biometric and Social Security Number Religious Exemption” is exempt from supplying biometric data, biometric sample or biometric template and the division or other state agency is prohibited from collecting, retaining or disclosing the applicant’s social security number or biometric sample, biometric template or biometric data that may be obtained from any other entity.

    (d) An individual may make an application for the “Biometric and Social Security Number Religious Exemption”, at any time, as a replacement for a noncommercial driver license or identification card or renewal for a noncommercial driver license or identification card, up to six months in advance of expiration date. An individual unable to make an application for the exemption in person may make the application by mail, accompanied by proof of identification, notarized request for exemption and appropriate fees.

    (e) The division, upon the effective date of this section, shall cease all biometric data comparisons and the collection of biometric data, biometric sample or biometric template of an applicant that signs, or indicates by other means agreement with the exemption, and shall perform as follows:

    (1) Modify existing computer software used for collecting facial images of an applicant for the exemption so that facial images collected do not exceed an uncompressed photographs resolution where the width of the head is forty-nine pixels or more of resolution which corresponds to a maximum full image width of

eighty-five pixels or more and a maximum image height of one hundred and six pixels or more; and

    (2) Store facial images that comply with this subsection in a separate database that is not accessible by any other governmental or nongovernmental entity but accessible only by the division.

    (f) The division shall not subject facial images to biometric comparisons and shall not require an applicant for the exemption to remove prescriptive corrective eyeglasses or to provide a specific facial expression when the image is collected.

    (g) No more than one facial image of an applicant for the exemption, to be printed on the identification card or noncommercial driver license, may be maintained by the division at any time unless previous attempts have failed to collect a full frontal view of the individual’s face that is a reasonable representation of the individual. All previously collected images shall be permanently and immediately deleted.

    (h) The division shall establish locations so that no applicant for the exemption must travel more than seventy-five miles within the state to be examined for the issuance of a noncommercial driver license or issuance of a new, renewed or replacement noncommercial driver license or identification cards. With respect to each such location, cameras and software used must be able to collect a facial image in compliance with this section. All exemption locations must be identified by the division and included in all lists that identify locations for examination or issuance of noncommercial license or identification cards. (i) Upon receipt of an application for the exemption, the division shall within three months of that date, permanently delete from all active databases, archival or back-up storage databases that are in the possession of the division or of any third party relating to the division’s activities, any social security number or biometric data, biometric sample or biometric template or facial image not complying with this section that were previously collected, obtained or retained from any applicant signing, or by other means indicating agreement with, the exemption.

    (j) The division may collect from an applicant for the exemption an increased fee for the issuance of a noncommercial driver license or identification card not to exceed fifty percent of the cost of a similar identification document that does not comply with the requirements of this section. The additional fee shall not be collected for more than five years of the effective date of this section and shall not exceed the actual increase incurred by the division for the implementation of this section.

    (k) This section shall not prevent the following:

    (1) The collection or retention of photographs or fingerprints for the purpose of enforcing laws relating to serious traffic offense including, but not limited to, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, negligent homicide with the use of a motor vehicle or other motor vehicle offense for which a physical custody arrest is made and bond required;

    (2) The use of finger imaging software and related equipment only at specific locations designated by the division where fingerprints are collected for the purpose of performing criminal record checks required under federal regulations governing the issuance of hazardous materials endorsements on driver licenses and the taking and retention of fingerprints for that express purpose;

    (3) The use, collection, storage or sharing of a social security number relating to a commercial driver license;

    (4) Requesting and receiving a motor vehicle and driver license records or from having legal access to information in the possession of the division, by law-enforcement agencies so long as such access and requests for this information are specific to individual records and individual persons; and

    (5) Enforcement of laws relating to child support enforcement so long as such enforcement does not require the collection, retention or disclosure of a social security number of an applicant for the exemption within the division.

    (m) A person that has signed, or indicated by other means agreement with, the exemption is exempt from the issuance of a noncommercial driver license or identification that uses the technology known as Radio Frequency Identification (RFI), Radio Frequency Technology (RFT), or similar technologies or devices, that are capable of storing and transmitting personally identifiable information or unique numbers, codes or algorithms which directly correlate to personal information held in another location, database or device. This subsection does not apply to devices used for identifying persons relating to punishment for criminal offenses where such identifications uses are allowed by law or for such devices used for turnpike or toll road passes.

    (n) For purposes of this section, “biometric data”, “biometric sample” and “biometric template” include, but are not limited to, the following:

    (1) Facial feature pattern characteristics;

    (2) Computerized facial image or hard copy of the same that when scanned by electronic means may be used to create a computerized facial image that exceeds an uncompressed photographic resolution where the width of the head is forty-nine pixels or more of resolution which corresponds to a maximum full image width of eighty-five pixels or more of resolution and an image height of one hundred six pixels or more of resolution;

    (3) Voice data used for comparing live speech with a previously created model of a person’s voice;

    (4) Iris recognition data containing color or texture patterns or codes;

    (5) Retinal scans, reading through the pupil measure blood vessels lining the retina;

    (6) Behavior characteristics of a handwritten signature, such as shape, speed, pressure, pen angle or sequence;

    (7) Fingerprints, palm prints and other methods for measuring or recording ridge pattern or fingertip characteristics;

    (8) Keystroke dynamics measuring pressure applied to key pads;

    (9) Hand geometry measuring hand characteristics including the shape and length of fingers in three dimensions; and

    (10) Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA).

    (o) The commissioner shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement the provisions of this section.


    NOTE: The purpose of this section is to provide a religious exemption to the collection of social security numbers and information usable with biometric information when issuing drivers licenses and rule-making authority.


    §17B-2-6a is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.

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