Massachusetts RMV to Use Digimarc for License Issuance Process

BEAVERTON, Ore/ - Digimarc Corporation has announced the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) has awarded the Company two new contracts designed to strengthen the security of the RMV's driver license issuance process. The RMV will implement the Digimarc Identity Validation Suite (IDVS), combining facial recognition biometrics and sophisticated identity document authentication, to reduce fraud in the process of applying for driver licenses, a key area of concern in the recently passed REAL ID federal legislation.

IDVS provides multi-factor authentication of applicants, examining both biometrics and the source documents that the applicant provides as proof of identity. The Digimarc solution will enable Massachusetts RMV offices to scan, authenticate and archive images of documents presented to establish an applicant's identity. In a parallel process, IDVS facial recognition capabilities will examine the applicant's photo against all other photos of registered drivers in Massachusetts to determine whether the applicant may be attempting to obtain a duplicate license using a false claimed identity.

"The Massachusetts RMV is leading the way in enhancing the safety of its citizens by buttressing two critical points in the issuance process with an aim to reduce fraud and identity theft, and enhance national security consistent with recently passed federal legislation," said J. Scott Carr, executive vice president, Digimarc Corporation.

Digimarc IDVS uses a flexible and modular architecture that allows customers to deploy systems configured to meet the specific needs of their workflow, office by office. The product allows the use of a range of third-party scanners and authentication technologies to optimize the balance between strong security, costs, and customer service.

During the enrollment process, RMV operators will use Digimarc IDVS to scan, authenticate, and archive documents presented by applicants for driver licenses. IDVS will validate numerous security features in various documents accepted by the Massachusetts RMV, including the Digimarc IDMarc(TM) digital watermarking security features that have been adopted by over a dozen states for cross-jurisdictional authentication. The Massachusetts IDVS implementation will also include document imaging features from AssureTec Systems to help authenticate documents such as passports, visas, and national travel cards.

Massachusetts RMV investigators will use the facial recognition aspects of IDVS to compare the facial characteristics in a new photo of an applicant against similar facial images in the RMV's database of approximately 10 million portraits from previous applications. This will allow the RMV to detect applicants who are trying to obtain a duplicate driver license or someone trying to obtain a license using a stolen identity. This "one-to-many" facial matching solution from Digimarc will employ algorithms from Cognitec, a market leader in facial recognition technology.

Digimarc was the pioneer in employing facial biometrics to fight identity fraud in driver license issuance, deploying its first facial recognition system in 1995. Since then, numerous states have adopted Digimarc's biometric solutions to reduce fraud in the application process. These solutions have been effective in identifying many cases of fraud and identity theft that would have otherwise gone undetected.