Laser-engraved edges add extra security to the new driving licences.

DVLA picks supplier for EU-format driving licences

Gemalto has won a contract to supply in the range of 40 to 80 million secure documents to the UK’s DVLA for a variety of official permits.

These include in particular digital tachograph cards, the next generation of highly-secure polycarbonate driver’s licences and biometric residence permits, over a number of years.

The DVLA will start issuing the new cards in 2013, based on Gemalto’s EU-compliant eco-friendly Sealys polycarbonate portfolio of secure documents. These incorporate unique security features such as a laser engraving process applied during the production stage to the edge of the document. The engraved images will be digitally enhanced to include an additional visible security pattern, which prevents modification of the photo without leaving visible marks.

Gemalto’s UK central hub at Fareham is in charge of managing the entire project. Company staff will work closely with the DVLA to enable the agency to personalise the products directly.

DVLA’s move is in keeping with the European Commission initiative to create a standard format driver’s licence across the European Union, made of high quality polycarbonate documents with high level security features. The Sealys Biometric Residence Permit complies with European specifications and the latest ICAO standards, providing temporary residence entitlement for non-EU citizens.

“The DVLA is recognised as a centre of excellence for the issue of high security national documents,” commented Simon Tse, chief executive officer of DVLA. “This contract delivers millions of pounds of savings for the taxpayer and allows DVLA to issue even more secure driving licences, and provide the next generation of high security smart cards for other parts of government.”

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