Biometric Smart Card: The New Alternative Solution for Driver License

In the past, Biometric Smart Card has been only deployed to secure identity, payment, and healthcare applications in many countries such as Germany, France, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. But recently, governments all over the world have looked more closely and seriously entertained the idea of standardizing licensing systems. In North America, both the American and Canadian governments have been talking about implementing Smart Card Technology to driver’s license that could potentially address the issues of suspended drivers obtaining licenses somewhere else, identify drivers with a high number of infractions, and more.

Biometric Smart Card| Iris Biometric

A smart-card based driver employs biometric technology, which aims to identify accurately the drivers. In details, Smart Card requires each person applying for a driver’s license be subjected to a fingerprint, iris or retinal scanning image. This biometric factor would be stored in a national database that would allow governments to identify all the information on an individual quickly and expeditiously, including any driving infractions and criminal behavior.

Numerous benefits have been seen from using the biometric Smart Card that is already installed in some countries. The first is the ability to protect sensitive data, both on the credential and during communications with an external reader.

Moreover, due to the unique of biometrics, Smart Cards are almost impossible to duplicate or forge. Also, they include a wide variety of hardware and software capabilities that can be used to detect and react to tampering attempts and counter possible attacks. Therefore, it helps to reduce the vulnerabilities of printed plastic driver license cards which are easy to fake and available for purchase over the Internet.  Only the person to whom the card is issued will be able to verify themselves when the card is presented. In other words, Smart Card has confirmed the ability to provide strong authentication of the individual’s identity.

In additional, the driver’s license is currently a multi-use credential.  A biometric license that includes smart card technology  not only demonstrated that the cardholder has driving privileges, it also serves as the default credential for establishing that the cardholder can board an aircraft, complete retail point-of-sale transactions, and apply for employment.  This has been recognized in North America, according to Smart Card Alliance Identity Council (2006).

Lastly, when compare to traditional cards, Smart Cards represent the best balance between security and cost. In other words, it delivers features that support cost-effective and flexible offline verification.  A smart card-based driver license system can be deployed cost-effectively at multiple locations by using small, secure, and low-cost portable readers.