Federal Ruling Gives States Power to Set Higher Standards for REAL ID Driver’s License, Says Smart Card Alliance
Adding chip technology would pave the way for secure, efficient online e-government services for states
PRINCETON JUNCTION, NJ, January 14, 2008–In its final ruling on minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards last week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security left the door open for states to decide for themselves if they want to set higher standards for secure REAL ID driver’s licenses and e-government services.
“Imagine the impact a state could have on protecting citizens’ identities and improving government services if every driver’s license they issued was capable of strongly authenticating online and in-person transactions,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. “That opportunity is before states now as they define their REAL ID plan to comply with the federal standard, which includes only minimum technology requirements since it faced significant opposition from some states due to costs.”
“Smart Card Technology: The Right Choice for REAL ID,” a new brief issued by the Smart Card Alliance, explains the benefits that smart card technology can bring to states for improved security and cost-efficiency in the delivery of state-operated programs. Smart card technology, which is required for all federal employee identification cards, provides added identity fraud and privacy protection by supporting PINs, biometrics and encryption of sensitive data on the credential and during communication with a reader. A state-issued driver’s license enhanced with this chip technology would enable strong authentication for e-government applications, giving citizens secure, cost-effective and convenient access to services such as electronic filing of forms and online identity proofing for licenses and registrations. In addition, it would reduce fraud and administration costs for state benefits programs.
States can choose to incorporate such e-government services by chip-enabling its official “state ID” and combining these services with the REAL ID driver’s license. These services can both generate cost savings and establish potentially new revenue sources.
“States have a golden opportunity to leverage the federal funding available for REAL ID implementation and, by adding a few additional dollars per license, both meet the federal guidelines and provide immense benefits to citizens and the state for the future,” concluded Vanderhoof.
“Smart Card Technology: The Right Choice for REAL ID,” can be found at /publications-smart-cards-real-id.
About the Smart Card Alliance
The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology.
Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information please visit http://www.securetechalliance.org.