Nebraska DMV is going digital

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"Identify theft"

The Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles has awarded a five-year contract

for the development of a digital driver's license system.

Digimarc ID Systems LLC, a subsidiary of Digimarc Corp., announced June

17 that it was selected to assist in converting Nebraska's film-based license

system to digital technology as part of a system and security upgrade approved

by the 2001 legislature.

Under the contract, Digimarc will provide the state with specialized

software, computer systems for driver examinations and digital imaging workstations

for issuing licenses to Nebraskans.

A centralized system will be provided to store license information and

interface with the state's network of computer systems.

This new system will enable the DMV to capture and store digital photos

and signatures, essentially providing higher levels of security, said Beverly

Neth, director for the Nebraska DMV. Although the cost of these new licenses

may be a bit higher than before, she said, "It is justified because these

new documents are much more secure."

The Nebraska DMV pays a per-document cost for their license cards. The

old film-based document cost was $1.05 per card while the new digital licenses

and ID cards will cost the DMV $4.30 each. The consumer, who paid $18.75

for a five-year film-based license, will pay another $5 for the new digital

document.

Although July 1, 2004, is the date set for launching the new licensing

program, the Nebraska DMV officials hope to implement this new technology

in the summer or early fall of 2003, Neth said.

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