Niagara Gazette

Local News

November 13, 2012

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

(Continued)

ALBANY —

The driver's license contract is rebid under the federal "Real ID" measure from the Department of Homeland Security to make licenses more secure and more states are expected to face similar contract decisions.

The state Department of Motor Vehicles won't comment until the comptroller's review concludes and the contract award is final. State records show cost was valued at just 20 percent of the evaluation of bids, with a 30 percent emphasis on security. Other categories included production and quality control, the production site and data security, the imaging device and experience and expertise, according to the record.

Trade publications note the CBN technology and black-and-white photos are well-regarded for security in driver's licenses and other documents.

The losing companies claim poor judgment and mishandling of the bid is apparently to blame for the state's decision.

"Polycarbonate and Teslin are both highly secure materials suitable for drivers' licenses," said MorphoTrust Vice President and General Counsel Scott Boylan. "The key differences are value and flexibility. Polycarbonate is far more expensive than Teslin while providing no additional security benefit. Teslin cards also can accommodate color photos, which enable more security features, whereas polycarbonates cannot."

CBN "failed a mandatory technical requirement which related to the ability to provide color text for the cards, a mandatory requirement," stated De La Rue in its lawsuit.

State records show the DMV criteria for the bid, however, appear to not require a color image ID, according to a court filing.

The state comptroller's office is now evaluating the bids.

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