Niagara Gazette

Local News

November 13, 2012

DMV taps high bidder for licenses — which may soon go grey

ALBANY — Cash-strapped New York has tentatively chosen the highest bidder to produce driver's licenses under a disputed contract that would provide only black-and-white photos and end up costing the state nearly $38 million more than the current contract if it's approved.

According to court papers reviewed by The Associated Press, the losing vendors, including the company that has produced New York licenses with color photos for 16 years, are protesting the $88.5 million award to a Canadian company.

The award to CBN Secure Technology Inc. of Ottawa is also being reviewed by the state comptroller.

CBN is part of the Canadian Bank Note company that prints Canadian money, passports and driver's licenses worldwide. Company officials did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

The DMV tentatively awarded the contract to the high bidder 10 months after New York advised the current vendor, De La Rue North America Inc., that because of "significant budgetary constraints" the state would have to reduce the cost of the contract, according to the court filings. As a result, De La Rue submitted a bid 10 percent lower for the new, eight-year contract, which ended up being nearly $38 million less than CBN's bid.

De La Rue, based in England, and Massachusetts-based MorphoTrustUSA, another unsuccessful bidder, want a rebid.

They claim CBN offered a black-and-white "polycarbonate" card they say is less secure than their color-picture IDs on cards made of "Teslin." The losing bidders say they also weren't informed the state wanted a black-and-white polycarbonate card and that CBN received an illegal advantage. De La Rue and MorphoTrustUSA said they could have offered a bid on that type which could save taxpayers' money.

The lawsuit also claims the state had required a color image ID, a requirement they claim CBN violated.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
Poll

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results