L-1 Identity Solutions has won the State Department’s contract for a new border crossing card. The five-year, $25 million contract will provide as many as 10 million cards to visa applicants who frequently cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
The RFID-enabled border crossing card is integrated with the U.S. passport card system. L-1 began producing the passport card this month. L-1 also announced that the State Department has doubled the scope of their contract to produce the passport card, from the initial $107 million five-year contract to $215 million over the same length of time.
According to L-1, the border-crossing card will be made of the same card stock as the passport card and will incorporate the same overt, covert and forensic security features.
Both types of cards have long-distance RFID chips, with a typical read distance of 20 feet. For privacy purposes, the chips will transmit only a unique reference number that must be matched to information in a database. The card will meet the requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative for travel by land and sea.
The State Department expects to begin issuing the border crossing card in the fall of 2008.