Polycarbonate for Swedish documents
On January 22, 2015, Thales was selected by the Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen) to design, develop, and deliver the new generation of Swedish highly-secure driver licenses and digital tachograph cards.
The new Swedish driving licenses will integrate Thales' latest security innovations.
The Swedish Road Administration started delivering the new driving license to the general public in the course of 2015.
According to the multi-annual contract, Thales will provide a set of ten new cards, including:
- The new driving license
- The new driving license for scooters
- The new driver's qualification cards
- The locomotive driver cards
- The taxi driver cards
- ADR (Agreement for Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road) licenses
- 4 types of tachograph cards.
The polycarbonate cards will be manufactured in Finland and personalized in Sweden.
But what's so existing about polycarbonate?
Fraud-resistant security features
Introduced over twenty years ago, polycarbonate is an increasingly popular choice in many countries worldwide, as it significantly enhances the level of ID document security.
What sets it apart from other materials is the nondelaminable property of a full polycarbonate document. When used in pure form and not mixed with other plastics, as is the case for Sweden, the different polycarbonate layers that make up the identity document fuse together to form a solid monolithic structure.
In other words, try to delaminate the layers ......and the card will break.
Polycarbonate is then the most suitable material for identity documents with its exceptional optical and physical properties.
It is the same material used for the Swedish passport and ID card.
All security features, including irreversible laser engraved personalization information, are safely located within and protected by the polycarbonate document.
In addition to traditional security features – such as security printing, screen-printing with optically variable inks (OVIs), holograms, and diffractive optically variable image devices (DOVIDs) – polycarbonate is unique in supporting highly fraud-resistant level-one security features; that is to say those visible to the naked eye.
Durable documents for Sweden
Polycarbonate’s durability allows for the production of long-lifespan identity documents, which can last for over ten years.
Polycarbonate identity documents have successfully passed the field tests.
Documents have reached such a security level that fraudsters are targeting weaker elements of the document life cycle, usually using a fake identity to obtain valid documents rather than trying to forge existing documents.
Supporting the Vision Zero initiative
Thales also supports Vision Zero, a Swedish initiative to increase road safety that is taking momentum worldwide.
Tackling fraud is central to improving road safety. As underlined by the European Commission in January 2013: “Fake driving licenses are a license to kill.”
The Governor of the US state of Connecticut summarized the challenge in May 2013: “It is about knowing who is entitled to drive on our roads and doing everything we can to make sure those drivers are safe and operating registered insured vehicles.”
Fraud is a major challenge for issuers, authorities, businesses, and citizens, even when the document is used to show driving entitlement. Insecurity on the roads created by illegal drivers can lead to substantial damage.
Furthermore, when driving licenses are used as IDs, fraudulent claims increase the overall cost for both the private and public sectors.
Thales is constantly developing new solutions to strengthen driving licenses by introducing additional visual, physical, or electronic security features.
- We also contribute to standards and help driving licenses evolve towards a more secure and robust card format than legacy paper-based systems that are often issued once for life.
- We promote the regular renewal of licenses as this has proven to be highly effective in reducing fraud and illegal driving.
Building the future of driver's license
We are developing a new solution such as the Digital Driver's License, also known as DDL
, now in pilot mode in several US states.
A DDL is a highly secure version of your physical driver's license or ID card stored on your smartphone.
Similar to how credit cards, note pads, maps, or cash have all begun to evolve to find their place on our smartphones, a digital license on your device means you'll always have it – even if you leave your wallet or purse at home.