US Indymedia Global Indymedia Publish About us
Printed from Boston IMC :
IVAW Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier
Brad Presente

Other Local News

Spare Change News
Open Media Boston
Somerville Voices
Cradle of Liberty
The Sword and Shield

Local Radio Shows

WMBR 88.1 FM
What's Left
WEDS at 8:00 pm
Local Edition
FRI (alt) at 5:30 pm

WMFO 91.5 FM
Socialist Alternative
SUN 11:00 am

WZBC 90.3 FM
Sounds of Dissent
SAT at 11:00 am
Truth and Justice Radio
SUN at 6:00 am

Create account Log in
Comment on this article | Email this article | Printer-friendly version
News ::
Court Asked To Crack Secrecy Over National ID Plans
03 Apr 2002
The group said it is seeking records the security office might have "on technical and legislative proposals for identification systems" in the belief that legislation has already been drafted calling for state driver's license records to be linked to federal agency databases.
Court Asked To Crack Secrecy Over National ID Plans

The group said it is seeking records the security office might have "on technical and legislative proposals for identification systems" in the belief that legislation has already been drafted calling for state driver's license records to be linked to federal agency databases.

"The potential privacy implications of these proposals are far-reaching," EPIC Executive Director Marc Rotenberg said in a written statement, adding that Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge "has an obligation to the American people to ensure that these decisions are made in the open."



AAMVA President & CEO Linda Lewis and Tom Wolfsohn, senior vice president of Communications and Government Affairs, met with staff from the Office of Homeland Security earlier this week. Discussions focused on an overview of the association and its mission, the Driver Record Information Verification System (DRIVerS), and the association's efforts to "Help Secure a Safer America."

What is DRIVerS?

The system, known as DRIVerS, is intended to combine the functions of the Commercial Driver License Information System (CDLIS), the Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS) and Driver License Reciprocity System (DLR).
It is anticipated that DRIVerS will be a distributed database system with a central pointer file like CDLIS and encompass more than 200 million records. A total of $250,000 was authorized for AAMVAnet to conduct the assessment.

Commercial Driver License Information System (CDLIS)

Mandated by the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act (CMVSA) of 1986, CDLIS supports the issuance of commercial driver licenses (CDLs) by the jurisdictions, and assists jurisdictions in meeting the goals of the basic tenet "that each driver, nationwide, have only one driver license and one record" through the cooperative exchange of commercial driver information between jurisdictions.
CDLIS has operated in all 51 U.S. jurisdictions (50 states and the District of Columbia) since April 1, 1992. As of July 1, 2001, there were more than10 million Master Pointer Records on CDLIS, growing at a rate of nearly 40,000 per month.

The System

CDLIS consists of a Central Site, managed by Electronic Data Systems (EDS) and located in Plano, Texas. The Central Site houses the CDLIS pointers and identification data about each commercial driver registered in the jurisdictions, such as:

date of birth
Social Security Number
state driver license number
AKA information

This information constitutes a driver's unique CDLIS Master Pointer Record (MPR). When a jurisdiction queries CDLIS to obtain information about an applicant prior to issuing a CDL, the CDLIS Central Site compares data provided by the State Of Inquiry (SOI) against all MPRs in CDLIS. If one or more matches are returned, then the CDLIS Central Site "points" the SOI to the State Of Record (SOR), where more detailed information about the driver's commercial driving history is found.

CDLIS Access Projects

Law Enforcement

National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NLETS) users and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) would like access to CDLIS.

NLETS is seeking access for the purposes of obtaining driver status, driver AKA (also-known-as) and driver history information.
The FBI would use CDLIS information to locate an individual and/or track an individual's movement.

As law enforcement personnel, NLETS users currently have access to most jurisdictions' driver license systems. However, users of NLETS do not have guaranteed response times and the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) format used by NLETS does not require its trading partners to use a standard format. The FBI has access to most systems, but that access is primarily manual.

The CMVSA did not designated NLETS or the FBI as CDLIS users, so AAMVAnet has sought input from the jurisdictions. Based on member input, AAMVAnet is currently working to develop a method by which NLETS can access CDLIS files.

One potential way for NLETS to access CDLIS is to use the recently developed NLETS/AAMVAnet Bridge, developed for the PRISM project. The FBI is considering connecting its three National Resource Centers through leased lines into Advantis/AAMVAnet for access. It is planning on connecting its satellite offices through dial-up connection into one of the three Resource Centers.

Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP)

This project enables federal and state law enforcement personnel, through the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP), to obtain driver information from CDLIS. MCSAP users with IBM compatible PCs or laptops, including pen-based systems, and software developed by TML Information Services, will be able to conduct a driver search on CDLIS. Driver license status, driver history and AKA information will be accessible from the 51 jurisdictions.

As part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), AAMVAnet and TML Information Services have been working together on a project that provides for the exchange of commercial driver status information between the US and Mexico since the borders opened to commercial drivers on December 17, 1995. Although the borders are officially opened, additional discussion between the U.S. and Mexico is necessary before operating authority is finally realized. TML is providing gateway/translation services between Mexican and U.S. transactions.

Also as part of NAFTA, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the State of New York, AAMVAnet and the CCMTA have been working together on a project which will provide for the exchange of commercial driver status (Phase I) and conviction data (Phase II) between the United States and Canada.

New York built the gateway (the IRE/AAMVAnet Bridge) between the CCMTA network and the AAMVAnet network, and will provide translation services between the Canadian and US transactions.

Current and Ongoing Efforts - Biometrics

Biometric authentication is the identification science of using a physiological or behavioral characteristic of an individual (such as fingerprints, facial geometry, iris, blood vessel pattern in the retina, voice, signature, etc.) to attempt a confirmation of the identity for that individual "automatically" with a high degree of certainty.
The Commercial Driverís License Information System (CDLIS), as well as other licensing authorities, uses a combination of information in order to identify an individual, such as his/her Social Security Number, name, date-of-birth, etc. Since there is a real possibility that biometric data may one day replace or supplement existing identification data for drivers, AAMVAnet currently participates in the development of standards for biometrics and actively seeks possible biometric applications for its customers.

The possible use of a biometric was part of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986. However, biometric technology in the late 80s had not advanced to the point where it was economically feasible to be used in a driver licensing environment. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) contracted with San Jose State University College of Engineering in 1995 to determine if biometric technology had since advanced sufficiently to be included in the driver licensing process and, if it had, to make a recommendation on which biometric to use. The new DOT contact for biometrics is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

The study revealed that fingerprints were the only biometric that met CMV requirements (criteria). The study recommended that AAMVAnet adopt several biometric standards and develop "best practice" documents for those jurisdictions wanting to use a biometric as part of their licensing procedure. It also recommended that AAMVAnet develop "model legislation" for those jurisdictions that require changes to their state laws in order to implement a biometric.

Currently all biometric related work being done at AAMVAnet is through ANSI B10.8. Please see this section for more details.

AAMVA is very pleased to have had the opportunity to work through the biometric industry to develop the first ever minutiae extraction standard for finger imaging. Specifics on this work can be found in the AAMVA National Standard for the DL/ID 2000 Ė Annex C (AAMVA DL/ID 2000).


**** ANSI B10.8 - Driver's License/Identification Card Standard ****

ANSI B10.8 - Driver's License/Identification Card Standard
Through ANSIís Accredited Standards Committee, InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS). B10.8 is a committee dedicated to identification cards and related devices. A Working-Group was formed in B10 for drivers license/ identification cards (DL/ID) and designated B10.8. The Working Group is comprised of industry (vendors) and jurisdictional representation (AAMVAís members). The development involves broad-based project teams including state driver license agencies, government, equipment and software suppliers, card vendors, and consultants (Our Partners).

The main body of the draft standard contains general information which does not relate to any specific technology but includes card size, data standards on human and machine readable information, physical security features, etc. Most of this information reflects work that was already done between AAMVA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in developing the Uniform Identification Practices Model Program in 1996. The document also includes a set of annexes for each applicable technology such as bar code, digital imaging, integrated circuit cards, magnetic stripe, and optical memory. Much of the information in the bar code, digital imaging, and magnetic stripe annexes comes directly from AAMVAís Best Practices. Other annexes cover topics such as biometrics, durability; test methods, and possibly some historical information.

For the latest version of the draft see B10.8 effort for the driverís license/identification card .


AAMVA Helps Secure a Safer America, Recommends Driverís License/ID Security Improvements

"Our driverís license has become the most requested form of identification," said Betty Serian, chair, AAMVAís ID Security Task Force. "Because the American people depend on this one card, AAMVA has a responsibility and obligation to do whatever it can to enhance the security of this document to improve public safety and national security."

Currently each state has its own set of rules for issuing ID credentials. This lack of uniformity has resulted in a mixed bag of exploitable processes and procedures such as different definitions of residency and more than 200 different, valid forms of identification issued by states in circulation today.

........Congressional legislation and funding for the Driver Record Information Verification System (DRIVerS) will allow state agencies and federal agencies to share already collected driver information. Association officials believe DRIVerS will make a number of improvements in identity verification, privacy protection and highway safety.

......Without a more uniform process for issuing driverís licenses, DMV officials warn that individuals will continue to exploit the system by shopping around for licenses in states that have become the weakest link.


from the Congressional Record - Senator. Dick Durbin discussing leglislation he will put forward after working with the AAMVA - March 01, 2002 (.PDF file)

A driverís license, as the primary source of identification in America, is your ticket to enter our society. Once you have that driverís license and present it, you are in the system. You are recognized as part of the system.

.....When we debate this, a lot of people in America get nervous. If we are talk-ing about identification cards, are we talking about a national identification card system? I am not proposing that at all. Some Members of Congress have. I am not one of them. But I do think there are things we can do that can strengthen the process of issuing driv-erís licenses all across America, which can make them more uniform, more authentic, more credible.

I am working on legislation, and I will be holding a hearing in the Governmental Affairs Committee in the coming weeks that will address this issue. I have worked with the adminis-trators of State agencies across Amer-ica. Every State agency with the re-sponsibility of issuing driverís licenses is part of an association which has worked with me in an effort to come up with some standards across the States. When I walk into a DMV, whether it is in Illinois, New York, Georgia, or Cali-fornia, what do they ask to prove my identity?

I think establishing minimum uni-formity in the way driverís licenses are issued State to State makes sense. It is going to eliminate forum shopping by those who are looking for the easiest State to provide counterfeit and illegal documents in the process of obtaining a driverís license. That is why I worked with the association to come up with minimum uniform standards, so that State to State everybody knows that a person applying for a driverís license has established their identity through the most credible means. If somebody comes to Illinois to apply for a driverís license and they produce documenta-tion that indicates they once lived in another State, I think the State of Illi-nois should have an opportunity to have access to that other State and find out if there is a chance that person either applied for a driverís license which was suspended or revoked or that State has some information that may be of value to Illinois before issuing the license. I think this is an excellent starting point.


So coming up with minimum uniform standards on driverís licenses, making sure that when they are issued, they are truly issued to the person who is applying for them, providing ways to make certain that other States havenít revoked a driverís license when a new State is being asked to issue one, making certain that States improve their internal processes to prevent fraud and abuse, putting in tougher penalties for those who would abuse them, incor-porating security features on driverís licenses so they canít be counterfeitedó all of these things move us for-ward to improve our nationís security.

And all of these common sense solutions add up to a process that is far from anything remotely resembling any national identification card. There would not be any new nationally issued cards or databases or tracking systems or collection of sensitive information. There would not be intrusion on privacy ó if the FBI needed information about a potential criminalís informa-tion contained in his DMV record, they would go through the same process they do todayóby going to each State and following the established process to obtain that information.

What I propose is a system where the States would have an incentive to move forwardóa better system, more accurate, with more integrity, with ability to work more effectively with other States. I think this is a step in the right direction. I commend my col-leagues who have expressed an interest in this issue. In the next several weeks, we will have a hearing in the Govern-mental Affairs Committee, where we will bring in people from across the spectrumólaw enforcement, State leaders and representatives, those who have been deceived, and those who have had their identity stolen from them.

I will ask them to come together to help us with legislation that will take this commonsense step forward, to make sure that the most commonly used photo identification presented at an airport or a train station or at the bank is really is an indication of true identity of the cardholder.

Rep. Moran pushes for 'smart' license - there is lots more information on the subject here

Moran said he planned to draft legislation in the next few weeks to push states to adopt "smart" driver's licenses.

An aide said Moran favored licenses that contain biometric identification chips. The chips would store digital fingerprints or an eye scan that would positively tie the license to the person it was issued.

A smart driver's license also could make transactions such as credit card purchases more secure by providing positive identification of a credit card user, the aide said.

Moran said in a written statement that he would base his legislation on recommendations by the Progressive Policy Institute, a think tank aligned with the Democratic Leadership Council.

In a Feb. 7 report, the PPI urged Congress to require states to issue smart driver's licenses that contain biometric identifiers, digital signatures and extra chip space to be used for credit accounts, bank access data and benefits accounts.

That way, a driver's license could also serve as a highly secure credit card, bank card or Social Security card, said Shane Ham, a senior analyst at PPI.

The smart driver's licenses proposed by the PPI also could serve as a national identification card. Driver's license data would be stored by each state in a database, and the state databases would be linked together, Ham said.


So far, I haven't found any legislation introduced by Rep. Moran regarding "smart driver's licenses".

We should be hearing from the AAMVA and Durbin or Moran very soon on this issue.

- Daniel

p.s. has a lot on this issue.
See also:
Add a quick comment
Your name Your email


Text Format
Anti-spam Enter the following number into the box:
To add more detailed comments, or to upload files, see the full comment form.