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Smart Card Driver's Licenses on Contactless Chipcards

Japanese police departments are expected to begin issuing contactless driverís licenses in the spring of 2006, perhaps the first country to use a contactless smart card for this purpose on a national scale.

The license will replace a plain plastic card carried by about 80 million Japanese, which is also used as a de facto ID card in Japan. The card is frequently counterfeited, which is one of the main reasons the National Police Agency has ordered all local prefectures to begin rolling out cards within five years. The licenses will also make it easier for officers to fill out traffic citations and make sure those citations are file properly.

Japanese Driver's License Identity Smart Cards - article 01/05

The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) is a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization striving to develop model programs in motor vehicle administration, police traffic services and highway safety. AAMVA serves as an information clearinghouse for these same disciplines, and acts as the international spokesman for these interests.

They are involved in biometric studies to ensure functional and secure smart card driver's licenses.  Their Unique Identifier Task Group is determining whether a biometric can be successfully used to conduct one-to-many matching in a system of more than 200 million records.

Many people are worried about the privacy concerns of such a central government database.

European driving licence information network to combat fraud and licence tourism.

02/05 - In the UK the DVLA (Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency) was, along with the Home Office and the Immigration & Nationality Directorate, an original backer of the Passport Service's biometric enrolment pilot. Following a consultation on the harmless-sounding subject of the replacement of the old-style UK licence with a photocard last year, the Government decided to go with the network check option, "working with stakeholders so as to provide secure and robust systems to send and receive information, with a view to abolish the issue of a paper counterpart." This won't happen, however, "until organisations have access to DVLA's database."

Earlier directives mean the UK can't, as it intended a couple of years ago, combine driving licence and ID functionality on the same card, and the current Commission proposals say that data on the new cards must be "limited to the function of a driving licence", which is an impediment to function creep, but not a massive one given the proposed presence of a chip and a network.

Facial Recognition Used to Prevent Fake Driver's Licenses

11/06 - The photos of all 2.1 million Iowans with driver licenses will be checked with facial recognition computer software starting early next year in an effort to deter identity fraud. The Iowa Department of Transportation said it has awarded a $1.4 million contract to Digimarc Corp. of Beaverton, Ore., to implement the biometric identification system as part of the stateís driver license program. When the biometric system is in place, Iowans who renew their driver licenses immediately will have their new photo compared to their prior photo in the stateís driver license database. If a person renewing their license isnít the same person in the photo already on file, an alert will be provided to an employee issuing drivers licenses, said Shirley Andre, director of the Iowa DOTís Motor Vehicle Division.