Datacard Recognized for Work in Passport Card Program

Installations in nine locations across the country were successfully completed on time under an aggressive timeline

Datacard Group, a provider of secure ID and card personalization solutions, announced recent successful deployments of the Datacard MX6000 Card Personalization Systems for use in the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) passport card program.

As of June 1, 2009, the WHTI initiative requires all travelers to present a passport or other approved document that denotes identity and citizenship when entering the United States by land and sea from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean region, and Bermuda. The WHTI Passport Card can speed the process for US citizens while helping to ensure border security and integrity.

The June 1 launch date drove the need to deploy card production capabilities across the country.

“The Department of State (DoS) knew that the June 1 go-live date, in addition to the peak summer travel season, was going to cause demand for the new Passport Card to spike,” said Russell St. John, Senior VP of marketing for Datacard Group. “From the DoS' perspective, it was absolutely critical that they have the capacity in place to respond to the demand.”

Starting on April 26, teams of Datacard Group technicians worked their way across the country, starting in Los Angeles and finishing in Miami, installing two systems a week in nine separate locations.

As of May 29, nine MX6000 Card Personalization Systems have been deployed and are in production at passport agency sites in Los Angeles, Seattle, Detroit, Houston, Minneapolis, Boston, Miami, New York and Chicago.

“All of the systems were up and running and the DoS operators were all trained prior to the June 1 deadline,” St. John said. “It was a focused effort that required us to work closely with our integration partners and the DoS to coordinate delivery, installation, testing and training.”

Installation team members each received certificates of recognition and personalized letters of thanks from the Department of States Bureau of Consular Affairs, the agency in charge of the Passport Card Program.

Since July 2008, more than 1,000,000 WHTI cards have been issued, proving the popularity and broad acceptance of the program. These regional issuance centers increase the program's capacity and also give travelers the flexibility to pay an expediting fee and have their passport cards issued immediately.
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