Driver's license recognition software

Wednesday, February 8th 2006, 10:22 am
By: News On 6

There are lots of people who don't like their driver's license picture, but what if your driver's license rejects you? Those new Oklahoma driver's licenses are verified with face-recognition software. And occasionally, it will not recognize your old picture.

As News on 6 Steve Berg explains, it's all part of the war on identity theft.

News on 6 employee Russell Hulstine was getting a new Oklahoma driver's license recently, when the computer put on the brakes. "And the computer came up and said well we have a problem." The computer said he wasn't him.

The computer measures things like the distance between the pupils of your eyes, the width of your face and If you've lost a lot of weight or if your appearance has changed substantially between your driver's license pictures. "My new picture didn't match my old picture because I had a goatee at the time and they said the glare off my glasses."

"If it was a dramatic hair change, yes it sure would." John Haefeker with the Central Tag Agency says it happens every once in a while. When it does, they call down to Oklahoma City and between them; they use their best judgement to determine visually if you are you, just with a different hairstyle or glasses. "Usually takes somewhere between five and ten minutes."

Of course, the point is not to make you miserable or waste your time; it's to stop the rampant problem of identity theft or maybe even a terrorist trying to get a fake I.D. “Y'know the way they used to have it, the old driver's licenses, anybody could walk in here with a birth certificate and your social security card and get their picture made on your license."

Hulstine says the face protection is worth a little inconvenience. "Oh yeah, I see nothing wrong with it."

The tag agency workers will look at your signatures to see if they match the old ones. And the computer will also compare your thumbprints, before giving you the thumbs up.