Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Find     
Site Image

Facial Recognition FAQs

Overview

This page provides answers to frequently asked questions about the use of "facial recognition" software at DMV.

Frequently Asked Questions
Why does DMV use facial recognition software when issuing driver licenses, instruction permits and identification cards?
Oregon law requires DMV to use facial recognition software as a tool in the prevention of fraud. The law is designed to prevent someone from obtaining a driver license or ID card under a false name.
 
How does facial recognition software work?
Facial recognition software electronically compares photos by measuring key features in faces. It does not require special camera equipment, and it works on the digital customer photos already on file at DMV.
 
How is facial recognition used at DMV?
Two different comparisons are done – "one to one" and "one to many." Under the state law, DMV is required to conduct both of these comparisons before issuing a driver license, instruction permit or ID card.
 
How does a "one-to-one" comparison work?
After all requirements for a driver license, permit or identification card are met, DMV will capture a new photograph of the customer. When the photo is taken, facial recognition software verifies the customer’s identity by comparing the new photo taken with the previous photo. The "one-to-one" comparison occurs before the interim card is produced.
 
How is a "one to many" comparison performed?
After DMV business hours, the facial recognition software compares the photos of each day's applicants with each other and with all the other customers on file at DMV. The software alerts DMV staff of possible matches between customers under different names. DMV staff examines the possible matches to determine whether the matches are simply very similar looking individuals or possibly the same individual under different names.
 
What happens if DMV finds a customer’s face under different names?
DMV will not issue a permanent card to the customer and will provide the information for police to investigate as a potential case of fraud.
 
What happens if DMV cannot tell whether two photos are the same or different individuals?
DMV will ask the customer or customers to bring additional proof of identity before issuing a permanent card.

Related Information
Additional information that may be relevant includes: