Digimarc system to support Indiana digital driver's licenses

Digimarc Corp. won a six-year contract from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles to supply a new digital system to issue driver's licenses.

Under the contract, Digimarc of Beaverton, Ore., will deliver an over-the-counter system for issuing secure driver's licenses. The system should be fully operational by this fall.

The company declined to provide the contract value, but the McLean, Va., market research firm Federal Sources Inc. estimated the contract's worth at $7.9 million.

Specifically, Digimarc will deploy the Microsoft.NET version of its solution to issue driver's licenses in Indiana. The company will work with the agency to integrate the system with other state databases and applications. In so doing, they hope to establish a platform that can be easily extended to incorporate new, secure identification applications in support of federal or state regulations, most notably the Real ID Act.

The Real ID Act, signed into law May 11, 2005, gives states three years to overhaul and upgrade driver's licenses and issuance processes and build a linked network to house information verifying the identity of those holding U.S. driver's licenses.

The new system incorporates hidden, machine-readable digital watermarking into driver's licenses to enable Indiana and other states to authenticate and deter ID counterfeiting.

Digimarc has more than 500 employees and had annual sales of $92.9 million in fiscal 2004, according to Hoover's Online of Austin, Texas.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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