RALEIGH -The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles is moving forward with production of a new next generation, secure driver license that will reduce the risk of identity theft, better integrate new technology for customer service and comply with the federal Real ID Act of 2005.
N.C. Department of Transportation signed a $73,468,000 contract on Dec. 16, with MorphoTrust USA, Inc. of Billerica, Mass. to produce more than two million new driver licenses and ID cards per year, enabling NCDMV to achieve its modernization efforts. MorphoTrust is the company that currently produces North Carolina Driver licenses.
The new contract replaces a previous agreement with MorphoTrak after that company missed several key deadlines beginning in 2011, and faced a series of stop work orders before the contract was terminated by mutual agreement in December 2013.
"I really appreciate the NCDOT team effort to resolve the previous issues and secure this new agreement which will allow us to effectively complete this important project with the most efficient use of taxpayer money," said NCDMV Commissioner Kelly Thomas. "The new license and ID cards will bring us into compliance with federal and industry standards and provide secure identification capabilities for us into the future as we continue to improve customer service."
The new agreement, which expands beyond the original project scope to make NCDMV more adaptable to changes and customer needs, is expected to enter pilot production of the new driver license credentials and processes by the fourth quarter of this year, and begin full-scale production by early 2015.
The new license and ID card systems will provide real-time facial recognition capabilities, lower operational and maintenance costs, integration with smartphones and tablets, a mobile solution to expand NCDMV's ability to issue credentials to rural and outlying areas, and introduces a limited number of full-service kiosks to enhance customer convenience and service. It is also designed to further improve customer service through the deployment of multiple customer enrollment workstations rather than the single photograph stations in driver license offices today. This is expected to significantly reduce customer wait times.
The agreement integrates new system technology for secure issuances along with anti-counterfeit features to help reduce fraud and identity theft by about 80 percent.
The seamless transition to the new contract will allow the state to immediately resume its work towards the development and implementation of a contemporary secure driver license system.