Laser engraved identity cards

National Identity System in Guatemala uses laser engraving to mark personal information on polycarbonate cards

Minnetonka, MN--Datacard Group, a provider of secure ID and card personalization solutions, was chosen to supply card personalization equipment and software for the new national identification system planned in Guatemala. The country's Registro Nacional de Personas (RENAP) intends to issue electronic identity (eID) cards to more than 11 million residents to both improve the process of citizen authorization and reduce benefits fraud. Issuance of the cards began July 1, 2009.

Guatemala's new civil registry database will utilize Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and facial recognition biometrics. When a citizen enrolls in the program, two fingerprints will be taken and a faceprint will be made using facial recognition software. These biometrics, along with the citizen's biographic information, will be stored both in the civil registry database and on a smart chip imbedded into the identification card.

The cards for this program need to provide an expected usage life of up to 10 years, so polycarbonate cards were chosen. The printed personalization was laser engraved into the substrate, enhancing both durability and card security. The card designs incorporate three levels of security measures – those visible to casual visual inspection (level 1), those visible using special enhanced visual inspection techniques (level 2) and those that require laboratory or forensic inspection (level 3) – to ensure the highest resistance to fraud and counterfeiting.

"This new eID program will be rolled out immediately as Guatemala's primary national identification card," said Fred Ketcho, regional vice president of Americas Sales and Service for Datacard Group. "Once the entire infrastructure is in place countrywide there are plans to use the cards for banking and services at other government facilities. This project was illustrative of the fact that Datacard is more than just an equipment manufacturer – we were pleased to be able to provide equipment, software and expert project management for the entire project."

The solution includes Datacard MPR5800 inline card production and personalization systems, Datacard Snooper card counting systems; and Datacard Data Preparation and Process Software. The company will also provide professional services for installation, implementation, and maintenance training.

Datacard Group offers the world's best-selling secure ID and card personalization solutions. The company's portfolio includes systems for high-volume card issuance, card delivery and fulfillment, secure ID issuance and passport production, plus extensive service and supply offerings. Datacard Group serves customers in more than 120 countries.

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