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WI Act Discourages Use of SSNs on Public Documents

WisPolitics reports that Governor Doyle signed into law consumer protection legislation known as the Register of Deeds Privacy Act (2005 Wisconsin Act 139). The act reduces public access to Social Security numbers on documents filed with the state's seventy-two registers of deeds offices.

The bill uses a two-pronged approach for discouraging the practice of placing Social Security numbers on documents to be recorded in the offices of the register of deeds. First, the bill allows the register of deeds to reject the document from filing, something they are not permitted to do under current law. Secondly, the legislation would make the practice of filing records with a Social Security number illegal, and would provide the victim of identity theft recourse against the party responsible for not blocking out Social Security numbers.