Volume 36, Issue 3 (May 1991)
Inaccuracy of Height Information on Driver's Licenses
Height is an important variable in identification. In cases involving deceased individuals, height is measured directly on the corpse or estimated from the skeleton. This postmortem measurement or estimation is then compared with antemortem records, usually the driver's license. The accuracy of the license information, however, has been questioned. To assess the accuracy of driver's license information, volunteers' statures were measured, and then these figures were compared with those printed on the subjects' licenses. Even in our comparatively young, well-educated sample, the license height was significantly greater than the measured height. Some inaccuracies may be caused by failure to update license information when new licenses are issued, but some inaccuracies may be from personal deception. The implications of these results for forensic anthropology cases are discussed.