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New Mexico opts for secure driving license issuing.

Digimarc : 28 April, 2008  (Application Story)
Biometric face recognition technology to be used for applicant identity verification prior to issuing new or replacement driving licenses in New Mexico.
Digimarc has announced that New Mexico's Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) has begun issuing licenses using a new, highly secure system from Digimarc, following a line of issuance systems upgrades in a number of states, including Indiana and Oregon.

Digimarc replaced the State's existing self issuing system with a state-of-the-art, secure driving license issuance system, designed to ensure that only one valid license is issued to one legitimate applicant, helping fight driving license fraud and identity theft. The Digimarc solution includes centralised driving license production from a secure facility and multiple applicant screening steps to confirm identity.

"It is an exciting day for New Mexico as we introduce a state-of-the-art system for issuing secure driving licenses and State IDs," said Ken Ortiz, director, Motor Vehicle Division. "We expect the new secure production process and increased fraud detection to greatly enhance transportation safety and protection of the identities of our citizens."

"We are delighted to have earned the privilege of serving the driving license needs of New Mexico, joining many other US jurisdictions who rely upon Digimarc for their driving license issuance systems," said Bob Eckel, president, ID systems, Digimarc. "Digimarc is pleased to be working closely with New Mexico to introduce a new world-class driving license solution that will serve the State's citizens with innovative applicant verification solutions and secure central production of a market leading secure credential design."

New Mexico's market leading system includes the following Digimarc solutions:

* Secure, centralised driving license production - The New Mexico driving license is being produced in one of Digimarc's highly secure factories. New Mexico drivers who apply for a new or renewal license now receive an interim driving license when they leave the office, and their final driving license in the mail, only after the applicant's identity has been positively validated.
* Biometric Identification - MVD staff use facial recognition technology to compare a driving license applicant's photo against all other photos of registered drivers in the MVD database to determine whether the applicant is attempting to obtain a duplicate license under a false identity.
* Advanced driving license document design with market-leading security features - the newly designed New Mexico driving license incorporates a number of new layers of security, including Digimarc IDMarc digital watermarks for machine-readable, cross-jurisdictional driving license authentication.
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