ANSI - American National Standards Institute
 Print this article  Previous Next 

IDSP to Develop Guidelines for Identity Verification

New York, Sep 29, 2008

Attendees at last week’s Identity Theft Prevention and Identity Management Standards Panel (IDSP) workshop agreed to develop guidelines for identity verification in connection with the issuance of primary U.S. documents such as birth certificates, Social Security cards and state-issued driver’s licenses / ID cards.

Administered by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the IDSP’s overarching goal is to reduce the threat of identity theft and fraud in the marketplace.

The workshop, held on September 25-26, 2008, marked the second meeting of this group of nearly thirty identity verification experts. Discussions centered on the need for identity verification guidelines for state and federal issuers of source credentials, and the creation of a project that may lay the foundation for the eventual development of a national standard.

Currently, government issuers of identity credentials typically depend upon an applicant presenting credentials issued by another agency to establish identity – frequently a birth certificate, Social Security card and/or a driver’s license. This circularity, plus the fact that each agency follows a different standard for identity verification, represents a loophole where identity theft and fraud can occur. For example, imposters seeking to create a fraudulent identity could use a fake birth certificate to obtain other source credentials, creating an increasing number of opportunities for identity fraud to occur downstream.

Workshop attendees agreed that issuers of such primary U.S. documents need a systematic process through which they can achieve a level of assurance on whether to accept or reject a person’s claim of identity. End users for the guidelines will include all pertinent interests involved in the issuance of foundational documents, including state vital statistics offices, state motor vehicles offices, and the Social Security Administration, among others. Representatives of these constituencies were present at the meeting.

Subsequent identity verification as it relates to the use of source documents to open commercial accounts, obtain medical services, or be issued other credentials is outside the scope of this effort.

The next meeting of the core project team is scheduled for October 30, 2008, in Washington, DC. For additional information on the identity verification workshop or the IDSP, contact James McCabe, director of IDSP (; 212.642.8921).

ANSI Focus on Services Standards