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Facial-recognition program doing its job at Arizona motor vehicle division
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Facial-recognition program doing its job at Arizona motor vehicle division

PHOENIX — Arizona is a step closer to complying with federal ID laws.

The state’s Department of Transportation has started using facial recognition technology during the application process for state-issued credentials such as driver licenses and ID cards.

It is one of several steps the state must take to comply with the requirements of the Real ID act.

“What facial recognition does for Arizona is that it shows another step that we have taken with the use of technology to better validate and to better secure how we produce a credential,” ADOT spokesman Harold Sanders said.

The state hopes to cut down on identity theft and fraud at the motor vehicles division by uploading ID photos into a department database.

“So it is reviewing photos in the record for that individual and then also a comparison to all of the records that are in our state database,” Sanders said.

If the facial recognition technology finds inconsistencies during the screening process, the system flags that applicant.

After the applicant is flagged, an ADOT employee is assigned to investigate the case.

The new facial recognition system has had about 1,600 alerts since it was implemented in February.