Murkowski signs licenses bill

Posted: Thursday, June 05, 2003

FAIRBANKS (AP) A bill continuing the state's practice of requiring Alaskans to submit Social Security numbers for driver's, fishing and other licenses has been signed into law by Gov. Frank Murkowski.

The Social Security number requirements originally were passed in 1997 and 1998 to bring the state into compliance with federal welfare reform legislation.

The federal law required states make the numbers available to help track down parents who do not pay child support. The laws also allow child support enforcement officials to match names with accounts at financial institutions.

Some legislators called the requirement a misuse of Social Security numbers and an invasion of privacy. In 2001, lawmakers placed a sunset clause on the earlier bills that would have ended the practice of collecting Social Security numbers on July 1.

However, that clause could have put Alaska out of compliance with federal law and put at risk $75.6 million a year in federal welfare and child support funding.

The House and Senate repealed the sunset clause this year. Murkowski signed it into law Monday.

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