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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 8, 2009
NEWS FROM: Field Services Division 09-001

New Driver Licenses Debut in Las Vegas
Central Issuance helps prevent identity theft

The new Nevada driver license and the Central Issuance system behind it are coming to the DMV offices in Las Vegas this week. Already in operation throughout the rest of the state, Central Issuance is a major step forward in combating identity theft and fraud in Nevada. Its new facial recognition software resulted in the arrest of three criminal suspects in Northern Nevada in December alone.

“The Central Issuance system is in use in 14 states. It is proven technology,” said DMV Director Edgar J. Roberts. “Beyond that, in Nevada we also have sworn officers posted in each major DMV office who will arrest and prosecute suspects when fraud is discovered.”

Under Central Issuance, applicants do not receive their license at the DMV office. Rather, their old license is hole-punched and handed back, along with a paper interim document valid for up to 30 days. The permanent license or identification card is then produced at a secure, central facility and mailed to the customer within 10 working days.

The new system will be rolled out in Las Vegas over three days. The first office to use it will be the Donovan Way office in North Las Vegas on Wednesday, January 7, followed by the Decatur and West Flamingo offices on Thursday and the Sahara and Henderson offices on Friday.

Centralized production enables the new licenses and identification cards to have numerous security features including micro-printing, ghost images and a laser-engraved outline of the State of Nevada. This system also allows the department to use facial recognition software that compares new photos against existing photos in the database as a further guard against identity theft.

Facial recognition led to three arrests in separate, but similar cases last month. All three suspects held a driver license in one name and an identification card in another. Donald Howard, 50, of Reno, Maria Gabriela Arcadia, 27, of Carson City and Phillip Goodwin, 43, of Sun Valley all face multiple felony charges.

Nevadans are not required to get one of the new licenses immediately. Existing licenses and ID cards will remain valid until their normal expiration. Because of the increased security features on the new license, the cost of a license or identification card has increased by 75 cents, from $21.25 to $22 and from $16.25 to $17 for residents 65 or older.

Complete details, including an interactive Flash presentation and high-resolution samples of the new license, are available on the DMV’s web site at www.dmvnv.com/ci.

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