All AMVIC members are sworn peace officers, conducting investigations, executing search warrants, setting up sting operations, making arrests, and occasionally having to draw their firearms in defense of the public. Their highly specialized training includes both criminal and complex administrative investigations.
After 9/11, these employees of the Department of Motor Vehicles moved to the front lines in California’s contribution to national security, and they now conduct joint operations with the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency.
In addition to tracking down counterfeit drivers’ license and counterfeit identification-card rings, AMVIC investigators are also charged with:
- Investigating complaints of ID theft.
- Investigating auto title fraud.
- Investigating complaints about Occupational Licensees such as new and used auto dealers; auto brokers; auto dismantlers; auto registration service providers; vehicle verifiers; driving schools; traffic-violation schools.
AMVIC investigators handle more than 20,000 cases a year, but after a 9/11 hijacker was found in possession of a fake California driver’s license, no task became more important than nabbing those with counterfeit documents and busting the rings that produce them.