Digimarc to help Utah comply with REAL ID Act

Published 17 November 2006

Five year contract calls on company to develop new drivers’ licenses that incorporate digital watermarking and laser perforation; just the latest in Digimarc’s campaign to dominate the state-issued identification market

The state of Utah is moving closer towards compliance with the REAL ID Act, the law that requires highly secure and standardized driver’s licenses across the United States. Beaverton, Oregon-based Digimarc announced this week that the state had awarded the company a five year contract to develop the state’s new identification card. The new card will incoporate both digital watermarking — Digimarc’s raison d’etre — as well as laser perforation.

We have previously reported on the former, so little more need be said about it other than the fact the technology is quickly becoming a standard feature in identification cards. According to Digimarc, fifty million circulating U.S.

driver licenses carry digital watermarking security features, and 50 percent of driver licenses issued in 2007 will include them. A brief explanation of laser perforation, however, is required. The technology involves drilling miniscule holes through the card’s internal layers. When presented with the card, an inspector can hold it up to the sunlight (or a flashlight, in the case of a bar bouncer) in order to see the holes.

Other states relying on Digimarc for their driver’s licenses include: Alabama, Colorado, Kansas, Massachusetts, Oregon, Texas, and, most recently, Iowa.

-read more in this company news release