Facial Recognition Will Go Live On Aug. 24: SGI

Regina, SK (Aug. 18, 2016) – SGI is reminding customers that beginning Aug. 24, 2016, facial recognition software will be in place when issuing driver’s licences and photo identification cards.

“Facial recognition protects Saskatchewan residents from identity theft and it also prevents people from getting multiple licences or ID cards,” said Andrew Cartmell, President and CEO of SGI. “This enhances road safety for everyone because it means someone with a suspended or revoked driver’s licence isn’t able to continue driving by getting a new licence under a different name.”

Facial recognition technology works behind the scenes. Customers won’t notice anything different if they get a new photo taken or receive a new card. Customers are not required to get a new photo or card until their current one expires.

“The transition to facial recognition is seamless for customers, and we are pleased to provide enhanced security that our customers can count on,” said Cartmell. “With this move, Saskatchewan joins most other Canadian provinces that are using facial recognition technology in their driver’s licensing programs, as well as Passport Canada.”

When a photo is enrolled into the facial recognition system:

  • The system creates a numerical template of the photo by using landmarks on the face, for example the distance between the eyes, the size and/or shape of the eyes, nose, cheekbones and jaw.
  • Then, the system compares the numeric template of the new photo to the numeric template of the customer’s previous one (if the customer has an existing driver’s licence/photo ID card on file).
  • Next, it compares the numeric template of the photo to the numeric template of all other photos in the database, to confirm the photo is not associated with any other customer in the database.

There is no added cost to customers for facial recognition, and the driver’s licence and photo ID cards continue to be valid for five years.

SGI announced its intent to move towards facial recognition technology in October 2015, when a new vendor was selected for driver’s licence and photo ID card production after a Request for Proposal process. The contract was awarded to Veridos Canada Inc., who began producing Saskatchewan’s driver licence and photo ID cards on April 1, 2016.

Find more information about facial recognition.


Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) is the province’s self-sustaining auto insurance fund. SGI operates 21 claims centres and five salvage centres across Saskatchewan with a head office in Regina. SGI also works with a network of nearly 400 motor licence issuers across the province. Customers can now do some transactions online. For more information, visit www.sgicanada.ca.