News & Resources

New Jersey ramps up ID verification efforts with enhanced digital driver license

May 20, 2011 Brian Bradley

New Jersey ramps up ID verification efforts with enhanced digital driver license
New Jersey recently revealed a new Enhanced Digital Driver License as part of its efforts to boost security and safety within the state, according to the New Jersey Star-Ledger.
 The EDDL, which has since been fully implemented in all 39 of the state's Motor Vehicle Commission agencies, is similar in appearance to the old license but includes more than 25 updated and new technological features intended to reduce fraud and abuse. Details of the enhancements are not being released in order to preserve security. Additionally, the EDDL has been found to be materially compliant under the 2005 REAL ID Act, which established security, authentication and issuance regulations for state driver's licenses and other identification documents in order for them to be accepted for official purposes. "The driver license is no longer a simple card that proves you are legally entitled to operate a motor vehicle," the news source quotes MVC chief administrator Raymond P. Martinez as saying. "It is now the primary source of identification for most Americans and a source document used for so many other pieces of identification. While the old license is adequate, recent events remind us that we must remain vigilant and stay one step ahead of those criminals who would seek to perpetrate fraud and illegally obtain this valuable form of identification." The MVC also plans to carry out a core computer system overhaul, which is expected to be completed in late 2012, according to the Star-Ledger. Following this, the commission will begin to implement a new central issuance process for license renewals that is projected to eliminate more than 1 million visits to its agencies per year. State-of-the-art facial recognition technology will be used by the MVC to investigate possible fraud before a final license is mailed to its recipient. Over the past decade, the commission has carried out several security and fraud prevention measures designed to complement its digital license, such as implementing a document fraud training program and establishing six-point ID verification. Last year, the MVC conducted 340 criminal investigations into fraudulent documents and assorted other fraud-related offenses, which led to 278 arrests, according to the news source. Recent legislation aimed at those who do not have driver's licenses is causing controversy in Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Star-Tribune. A recent Republican-sponsored bill in the state would allow citizens without proper forms of photo ID to be given free voter identification cards, which critics say could result in illegal voting.