West Virginia Contracts with Viisage for Biometric Licenses

BILLERICA, Mass.-- West Virginia Setting New Standard for Internal Controls and Drivers' License Security Designed to Improve Homeland Security and Protect Citizen's Identity

Viisage, a leading provider of advanced technology identity solutions, today announced that after a thorough evaluation of competitive offerings, the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles selected Viisage for the design and implementation of the State's new drivers' license. The new State license will include finger image and face recognition biometrics as well as the latest credentialing security features. The end-to-end security built into the State's process is designed to provide citizens with protection from identity theft and fraud, and is expected to allow the State to contribute to heightened homeland security efforts. The one-year contract awarded includes the option for four one-year renewals.

The West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, in collaboration with Viisage, will begin producing a new drivers' license that provides citizens with high levels of security from the upfront proofing of identity to the issuance of licenses embedded with advanced security features. West Virginia's process will begin with the use of finger image technology to record operator login, allowing for continuous tracking of drivers' licenses from the point of initial application. Additional built-in security measures are available to prevent unauthorized production of drivers' licenses.

In the application process, the State will take photographs of citizens, and citizens will have the option of providing their finger image for a multi-biometric solution that offers added identity protection. The State will compare the applicant's live facial image and finger image capture to the facial image and finger image on the driver's license record to certify that a driver's license is issued to the correct person. Further, the State will use face recognition technology to compare the live facial image of an applicant to all of the facial images in the State's database, which will help assure the State that each applicant has only one record. This database scanning process is expected to allow the State to cleanse its database and uncover any cases of suspected identity theft or fraud.

"We had a vision of how we would better protect our citizens and advance homeland security efforts. Viisage has made this vision a reality with a winning combination of multiple biometrics and a top credentialing solution. Further, the entire solution includes a redesign of our process, which will save time and money and translate to a significantly improved drivers' license issuing system," said David Bolyard, Director of Driver Services, West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

"With the redesign of the State's drivers' license system, the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has stepped to the forefront of advanced technology identity solutions. Their solution is not only one of the most advanced, but it is also one of the most comprehensive in addressing both the internal controls and the application process, which dictates the security of this important identity document," said Bernard Bailey, president and CEO of Viisage. "We believe that identity will continue to grow in importance as an asset to both businesses and individuals, and these types of solutions will set the pace for the demand for enhanced identity security."