Driver’s License Photo as Crime-Fighting Tool?

mug shot against driver's license photo

The driver’s license is becoming an effective tool for crime-fighting, thanks to the continuing improvements on facial recognition technology.

Three specialists who work for the Massachusetts motor vehicles department recently tested their method by running a mug shot from the TV show “America’s Most Wanted” – just to try it for size – against the state’s database of nine million digital driver’s license photographs. Voila! They found a match for a man wanted on rape charges, using a different name on his driver’s license.

At least six other states have or are working on similar enormous databases of driver’s license photographs. Coupled with increasingly accurate facial-recognition technology, the databases may soon become a radical innovation in law enforcement.


Published by Chris Malinao

Chris teaches Lightroom as workflow software to photography students at the FPPF, Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation. He also teaches smartphone photography.