TSA announced on Tuesday the start of a pilot program for technology to catch counterfeit ID cards. The Credential Authentication Technology/Boarding Pass Scanning System (CAT/BPSS) was put in use at Washington Dulles International Airport and is scheduled for placement at Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport in Puerto Rico in the coming weeks.
Up until now, security features on ID cards were checked by visual inspection. TSA officers had to manually verify that the name on a boarding pass matched a traveler’s ID. In September, TSA purchased 30 CAT/BPSS systems.
Ninety percent of documents used for air travel are driver’s licenses, according to DHS. And most contain security features like holograms, laser engraved signatures, magnetic stripes, laser perforation, and ghost portraits (the REAL ID Act requires all driver's licenses to have certain security features by January 15, 2013). CAT/BPSS scans a person’s boarding pass and ID and verifies that the information matches while analyzing security features to determine if they are fake or altered.