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Motor Vehicle Agency Implements Biometrics

Facial recognition tool used to stop identity theft and related crimes

by / August 28, 2006
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) recently completed a successful implementation of Digimarc's Biometric Identification 2.0, a facial recognition technology that match an applicant's new portrait to the agency's database of licensing images to identify potential duplicates. The system helps ensure that individuals applying for a driver license have not already been issued a valid license under another name or identity.

Biometric Identification 2.0, which was developed with input from the Massachusetts RMV and the Massachusetts State Police, allows those two agencies to run the 4,000 to 5,000 applicant images taken daily against the RMV's database of approximately 10 million images. Investigators review all matches, typically ruling out fraud in 5 to 10 seconds. So far, the program has detected minors who have obtained a duplicate license in order to buy alcohol, individuals whose licenses have been revoked or suspended, and career criminals who use multiple identities to evade capture and arrest.

"Facial recognition technology is helping Massachusetts achieve the goal of reducing license and ID fraud," said Anne L. Collins, Registrar, Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. "The program's efficiency allows a small number of investigators to quickly detect suspected fraud and provides required data that drives effective follow-up investigation by law enforcement."

"Digimarc was the first company in the industry to offer driver license issuers facial recognition solutions to ensure that only one license is issued to a driver," said J. Scott Carr, executive vice president, Digimarc.

When combined with tools to verify the documents and data presented as proof of an applicant's identity, biometric identification gives driver license issuers a complete solution to secure the enrollment and issuance process.

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