Update to PennDOT’s Driver’s License Verification Program
On December 8, 2021, PennDOT announced their “Verification of Identity by PennDOT Business Partners for Motor Vehicle Transactions” program. Under the new requirements, an electronic verification process will need to be performed on transactions where PennDOT requires a driver’s license to be copied.
As we reported in the January/February 2022 newsletter, driver’s licenses will need to be scanned or the information typed manually into an interface that will communicate with the American Association of Motor Vehicles Driver License/Driver Verification (AAMVA) platform to determine the validity of a driver’s license. Once the license is validated, the dealership/agent will be required to print out a verification report which must be attached to the title work application. This will not replace the need to provide a copy (front and back) of the applicants’ state driver’s license or other approved identification to the title application. Again, the verification report is an additional piece of paper that will be required to be submitted with all title work. If the license comes back ‘not validated’, delivery of the home cannot occur. All agents involved with titles and registration transaction will be required to use the verification of identity system and process regardless of online status.
Enrollment will occur throughout 2022 with mandatory participation by November 30, 2022. The three approved integrators to access the verification of identity system are Dealertrack, CVR and Vitu. Once the dealership/PennDOT agent signs up with an integrator, the integrator will be in contact to assist with set-up and training.
After reviewing all three programs, PMHA recommends Dealertrack. Dealertrack has developed a robust, easy to use program that hundreds of dealerships and PennDOT agents are currently utilizing. The Dealertrack program has no sign-up fee and no monthly fee. Though there are no mandatory equipment requirements, 2D Barcode scanners are recommended to reduce input error. This decision can be made once you have the program up and running and you see how it interacts with your current equipment.
Dealertrack charges $2.00 every time you scan a driver’s license, which can be passed on to the customer.
To get set up with Dealertrack call Suzanne Seidel at 717-380-3630 or email her at Suzanne.firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you are set up with Dealertrack you will be trained on the program. A Dealertrack training video is available online at https://vimeo.com/623413723/377254ddaf.
Again, PennDOT does require all dealers and agents to be participating by November 30, 2022. Get enrolled as soon as possible, so that you can implement this new requirement into your titling process before November 30, 2022.
Attorney General Shapiro Alerts Pennsylvanians to Tracking Threat from AirTag Misuse
Warns of bad actors using the Apple product to track an individual’s location
Wednesday, February 16, 2022
HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro issued a consumer alert today to share safety recommendations with Pennsylvanians that will help protect them from the malicious misuse of Apple AirTags to track their locations and belongings without their knowledge or consent. Individuals have reported finding unknown AirTags attached to their cars, in their purses, coat pockets, and other personal property. Others have reported receiving alerts on their phones that their location information is being shared, even if they have not found an AirTag or other connected accessory on their person.
“It’s vital all Pennsylvanians, especially women and survivors of sexual assault and abuse know about how these devices can be misused and turned into a threat,” said AG Shapiro. “In the wrong hands, these tracking devices could lead to disaster. Pennsylvanians should know what to watch out for and how to protect themselves.”
Consumers should take the following steps to safeguard themselves and their belongings:
- Listen for unfamiliar beeping. When an AirTag is separated from a familiar device for some time, the AirTag will start to make a beeping noise. If you hear this beeping noise, try to locate its source. AirTags can be stuck in various places including in bags and pockets, under cars, inside of bumpers, and the back of license plates. If you find an unfamiliar AirTag, hold your smartphone up to it to receive information about the AirTag including its serial number. Write down this information, then disable the AirTag by using the instructions on the screen or by removing the AirTag’s battery, and call your local law enforcement for assistance.
- Watch for “Item Detected Near You” notifications on iPhones. If your iPhone has been close to an unfamiliar AirTag or other accessory for a prolonged period of time, you may receive a notification on the Find My application stating, “Item Detected Near You”. Tap this message and it will allow you to play a sound on the AirTag in order to find it. You will also be able to use the app to receive information about the AirTag and disable it. Be sure to write down any information you learn about the AirTag before disabling it and call your local law enforcement for assistance. This Find My feature only works if your device is running iOS or iPadOS 14.5 or later, so be sure to keep your device’s operating system up to date.
- If you have an Android device, download Tracker Detect from the Google Play Store. If you hear unfamiliar beeping, you can use Tracker Detect on your Android device to find any unfamiliar AirTags within your Bluetooth range. Please note that you will have to manually scan the area using the app, it will not scan for devices automatically.
- Know that not all unfamiliar AirTags are malicious. While it is important to be careful, AirTags are sometimes legitimately lost by their users, and your device will alert you regardless. If an AirTag has been reported lost, your Find My notification will give you information to allow you to return it.
- Check for updated guidance. Apple has issued guidance on how to deal with unknown AirTags or Find My alerts. If you come across any issues, check with Apple for updated guidance.
- Update your Apple device’s operating system. Apple is implementing new safety measures, so make sure you update your Apple device’s operating system regularly.
- Know that it’s not just Apple AirTags that can be misused in this way. Tile, GPS Trackers, and similar products could potentially pose a similar risk. Check your personal belongings if you received any suspicious notifications of your location being tracked.
Consumers who believe they may have found a misused Apple AirTag in their belongings should contact local law enforcement.
Catharine M. Conner, Senior Associate
Milliron Goodman • Government Relations
Biden Administration drops vaccine or test workplace rule. January 25, 2022
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced Tuesday it will withdraw an emergency mandate that would have required employees at large businesses to get the COVID-19 vaccine or test regularly for the virus.
The decision from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which will take effect Wednesday, follows a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month that blocked the rule from taking effect.
The Biden administration first announced last year that it would try to curb the rise in coronavirus infections by implementing stricter standards on workplaces.
The OSHA emergency mandate was one of several workplace mandates and would have required businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure that their workers had received the COVID-19 vaccine or were tested regularly and wore a mask during work hours.
Fines for violating the mandate could have ranged from a few thousand dollars for a first offense to as much as $136,000 for violations determined to be “willful.”
Republican attorneys general from 27 states challenged the OSHA requirement, arguing that Congress didn’t give the agency the authority to require vaccinations.
The states challenging the workplace mandate included Ohio, Tennessee, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Arizona, New Hampshire, Florida, Georgia, Iowa and Louisiana.
A majority of the Supreme Court sided with that argument earlier this month, with Justices Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito writing that “The answer is clear: Under the law as it stands today, that power rests with the States and Congress, not OSHA.”
The court’s three liberal justices, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, dissented, saying COVID-19 “is a menace in work settings” and that OSHA’s emergency temporary standard falls “within the core of the agency’s mission: to ‘protect employees’ from ‘grave danger’ that comes from ‘new hazards’ or exposure to harmful agents.”
President Joe Biden said in a statement following the ruling that he would continue advocating for businesses and states to implement COVID-19 safety standards.
“The Court has ruled that my administration cannot use the authority granted to it by Congress to require this measure, but that does not stop me from using my voice as President to advocate for employers to do the right thing to protect Americans’ health and economy,” he said.
OSHA said Tuesday that while it will withdraw the emergency temporary standard, it will continue “prioritizing its resources to focus on finalizing a permanent COVID-19 Healthcare Standard.”
Wolf Administration Discusses PA’s New Water Assistance Program Opening on January 4
Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) and Public Utility Commission (PUC) today announced the launch of the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP), which will help Pennsylvanians with low incomes maintain access to drinking and wastewater services. Applications for LIHWAP open tomorrow, January 4, 2022.
“Access to clean drinking water and wastewater services that keep our homes safe are important to our daily lives and a family’s ongoing health and wellbeing,” said DHS Acting Secretary Meg Snead. “I encourage all Pennsylvanians who are at risk of losing these essential services to apply as soon as possible when the water assistance program opens on January 4.”
“As part of our #CallUtilitiesNow campaign, the PUC strongly encourages consumers to learn more about LIHWAP, since direct conversations between customers and utilities about eligible programs are the best ‘first step’ for any Pennsylvania households or businesses struggling to #KeepUtilitiesOn,” PUC Chairman Gladys Brown Dutrieuille. “The launch of the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program is a great opportunity to start the new year secure and connected.”
Assistance is available for families who have past due water bills, had their service terminated, or received a notice indicating that their service will be terminated in the next 60 days. Households can receive LIHWAP grants for both drinking water service and wastewater service. Grants are issued directly to water service providers, and families must meet income requirements. Pennsylvanians should have the following information ready to include in their application:
- Names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth for all people in their household;
- Proof of income for the applicant and all household members; and,
- A recent water bill.
Receiving utility assistance through another program like the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) does not prevent a household from receiving assistance through LIHWAP as long as the applicant meets LIHWAP eligibility criteria. Income guidelines for the program are as follows:
|Household Size||Maximum Annual Income|
More information and promotional materials for LIHWAP are available online. DHS encourages Pennsylvanians to help spread the word so those who need help know the program is available.
LIHWAP is a new, temporary assistance program established through the American Rescue Plan Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. These funds are part of the nation’s continued response to families experiencing financial difficulties due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Pennsylvania received approximately $43.2 million to assist families who have lost or are at risk of losing water service in their homes.
Applications for LIHWAP, LIHEAP, and ERAP as well as other public assistance programs that can provide health care, food, and cash assistance can be submitted online at www.compass.state.pa.us. DHS’ County Assistance Offices (CAO) are available for in-person support if clients cannot access online services or need assistance or information that is not on the COMPASS website or the myCOMPASS PA mobile app. Pennsylvanians can also request a paper application or get help applying for assistance by calling the Customer Service Centers at 215-560-7226 for Philadelphia clients or 1-877-395-8930 for clients in all other counties.
All Pennsylvanians experiencing financial hardships due to the pandemic, a lost job, or a change in income are strongly encouraged to apply and see if they qualify for assistance with food, health care, and other essential needs.