Washington State to Issue Biometric Driver’s Licenses

iStock_lilperson-300x225The State of Washington has begun to implement a biometric driver’s license card that will roll out over a five-year period. The state’s Department of Licensing has contracted Valid S.A. to handle the project.
The company will oversee the development of the card and the implementation of biometric authentication measures, which will include photo capture and facial recognition; and the company will also take care of enrolment services via its WebLink ID software. Valid aims to start card production and driver enrolment in August of 2016, and plans to issue 1.7 million credentials per year.
There is a growing trend of integrating biometric authentication into official government credentialing, with the use of ePassports and other such documents on the rise globally. We’ve also seen biometric authentication creep into this sector in other ways, as in the case of automated license renewal kiosks in Massachusetts that use facial recognition technology to authenticate known drivers. Given how notoriously slow government initiatives can be, the speed at which such developments are taking place should be encouraging for those in the industry looking forward to further such government contracts in the future.
January 15, 2015 – by Alex Perala