Good Question: What’s On My License’s Magnetic Strip?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With all the talk of changing Minnesota law to require people to show an ID before they vote, some are proposing using an ID swiping system to verify that the voter is a legal one.

Our license gets swiped at some bars to prove we’re 21, at some stores when we make tax-exempt purchases. So what kind of information is being stored on that magnetic stripe?

“Everything that’s on the front, except the picture, is on the magnetic strip,” said Bruce Gordon, director of communications for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Not very exciting, really. No criminal record information, no record of the times you’ve been pulled over and let off with a warning, no social security number.

“That’s it?” I asked. “0That’s it,” Gordon said.

Your name, address, height, weight, eye color, birth date, sex, license number and expiration date is all stored on that magnetic stripe.

That doesn’t mean that all that information would normally be public.

If you went to public safety and asked for the driver’s information that’s public for any given license – all you’d get is a zip code, physical description and whether the license is valid.

Under Minnesota law, your name, address, birth date, and driver’s license number are restricted. That information is available to police officers, court and government agencies, and — under limited circumstances — to insurance companies and new employers verifying information.

But when you hand over your license voluntarily, everything on the front, is on the strip, and all of that information can be gathered.

“You need to protect your driver’s license and private information the same way you’d protect credit card or any kind of information. You don’t want to give that to just anybody,” Gordon said.

  • Tin Foil Brigade

    so it is illegal for bars etc who ask for your license to check your date of birth and then *WITHOUT ASKING YOU* scan the card?

    I realize they have the right to refuse me admission if I refuse, but how can i refuse if they don’t ask and then scan my license. Also, what recourse do I have if they do it? How do I know that my personally identifiable information is not going to be resold or abused?

    This could be a follow up investigation for you guys

  • Tin Foil Brigade

    ugh – sorry… I meant “IS IT ILLEGAL…” not “it is illegal….”

  • Robert Haan

    Tin Foil, this concerns me as well. I bought a couple cases of beer from a MGM Liquor store and the scanned my license before I could ask to stop. A Month later I started to get all kinds of coupons and special deals for MGM in my mail. I was really irate, called the MGM store and the contritely said they don’t use drivers license scans for marketing.

    So how is it my MIDDLE name is included on the junk mail coupons? Coincidence? I think not.

  • Aiki guy

    I stgopped by Blue Max liquors in Burnsville and the cashier asked for my license. I showed it to him and he said he had to scan it. I’m not quite at the ‘black helicopter’ stage but said “No thanks” and left the beer on the counter. I get that the back of the license may have a DUI notation, but the clerk can see it, if there, What’s the need to scan?

    • Research

      Resolution for that…get a passport card.

      • jimmy

        State ID only for voting

  • scott

    I think it is because the idiots they hire as clerks are not smart enough to figure out if you are of legal age without the aid of a computer. So they scan it and find out!

    • JustSayin


  • Jeff

    This is all very simple,

    The clerks scan your card for several reasons.
    1. to prove they did the scan and you are of age
    2. The scan will correspond to the sale of the product incase a problem like a police sting arises. All information matches
    3. The store may not collect your information but they may pass it along to the parent company or to third party vendors. So maybe the proper question should have been “who stores the information” or “who provides the sanning service”

    Personally I wouldnt belive anything these idiots say. i want to see where the requirments of magnetic strip are in administrative rules or in statue. I must remember the statue could have been added to or changed arrr.

  • jimmy

    So this ID Amendment went from showing your ID to scanning it. Name, Address and age, all in a neat little data base for sale. Then to be sold again and again and again.

    • Bree

      When you go to vote they already have your name and address in a neat little database. Those printouts that they look you up on are printed out from the “neat little database”.

      • jimmy

        They don’t have the age. Only that you are over 18 , which is important when selling a list. Why do you think that the state doesn’t sell that information off the drivers license. it’s what con men and corporations want to target. We fought to have that information not be sold, now your willing to give it to them

  • Amy Senser'

    I believe they all know I like Hard Mikes as they always ask me i my daily beverage of choice is the right one …. so many people know what I drink it is almost embarassing ((blushing))
    For some reason tho I cannot get them ever to help me carry out items to my car. ??? They all say if I pull up to the front door they will be willing to hand to me but that is all they willing to do.
    What is this all about????

  • TabascoSam

    I erased the stripe on my card with a strong magnet . . . . oops

    • Arianna

      Posted on I’d must test with you here, which isn’t something I sllauuy do! I get pleasure from reading a post that will make folks think. Thanks for permitting me to remark!

  • TL

    You folks are thinking waaay to much about this….

    You are giving establishments that you enter in which they serve/sell alcohol permit to check or verify your age simply by walking in said places…since it is reasonably assumed that YOU are aware that they are obligated by law to verify your age by any means necessary i.e. scanning, etc.

    • jackactionzero

      waaaay to much for sure.
      can you tell me how they knew my sexual preferences off this strip? that included too?
      they knew when I walked into the Gay 90s way to much stuff…freaked me out

  • do do

    anytime stores scan you info you can bet they sell that info or “PASS IT ON” to someone who does sell it. don’t be so stupid people. Wake up……do what the AIKI GUY did… LEAVE.

  • Kevin

    I am a complete moran.

  • Dale Gribble

    The magnetic strip is the Mark of the Beast foretold in the Book of Revelations. The DFL is using this to track your movements as part of the UN population controll measure. When Obammy seizes power, he will use this information to enslave us to the Anti-Christ.

  • Tin Foil Brigade

    I believe that the strip has nothing more than what is on the front of your license. You can buy a reader and try it out if… however… my initial post was regarding what if anything we can do if an establishment scans the ID *WITHOUT PERMISSION*. Once again, I realize they can refuse service – it’s their right, but if they scan my DL without permission, they now have access to my personally identifiable information which concerns me A LOT.

    What recourse do we have *after the fact*? What guarantees do we have that this information is not being stored someplace for some d0rk to use to perpetrate identity theft (a full name, DOB, DL number and address in the wrong hands can cause a lot of problems).

    Investigative Report anyone???

  • ron

    You dont have to be born in the us to get a drivers license. So what does that have to do with voting?

  • Vinod

    Posted on Your are not worthless. You mean the world to snmeooe. You just need to find out who. And don’t ever try to take your life ever you are loved by more people than you think.

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