How is your driving license number made up?

I’ve always wondered about how driver’s license numbers are generated. Does the number have any significance or is it just random? How do they make up your driver’s license number?

Tiffany Leung · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
What an excellent question! The answer might be quite surprising! Your driver’s license number is made up of your name, gender, and date of birth, but this only applies to certain states such as Florida, Wisconsin, and Illinois. This system is great for identifying any sloppy fake IDs being used if you know what to look for.
Taking a Wisconsin license number, for example, it can be broken down into the following segments without the hyphens: SSSSFFFYYDDDNN
Here’s a breakdown of what each segment represents:
  • SSSS: Soundex code of your last name
  • FFF: Encoded first name and middle initial
  • YY: Year of birth
  • DDD: Day and month of birth and gender
  • NN: Overflow to differentiate those who could have the same license number
Most states with encoded driver’s license numbers follow the same or a similar system so that a specific license number is assigned to each driver.
Just as driver’s license numbers are generated specifically,
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