Nlets Interstate Sharing of Photos (NISP)


In October of 2006, Nlets received initial support from the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security to demonstrate the viability of exchanging interstate driver license (DL) photos among law enforcement and safety officials using Nlets. The project involved a pilot with OR, NC, VA, and SC. The pilot demonstrated that states could share photos interstate.

As a result, Nlets received further funding from the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to expand DL photo sharing to additional states. Over the last several years, Nlets has implemented DL photo sharing in 17 states. Two additional states will be in production by the end of 2009.

The project also addressed policy issues, such as privacy and archiving of photos. In 2008, a privacy impact study was completed. In addition to DL photos, Nlets also implemented the ability for states to share correction photos interstate.

In partnership with ARJIS, Nlets will not consider this project a complete success until all states have implemented DL photo sharing!


  • Developed XML and text specifications for DL and correction photos.
  • Implemented interstate sharing of DL photos in 18 states.
    • Up to five additional states will be in production by the end of 2010 (see attached map).
  • Two states implemented interstate sharing of correction photos (see NCIEN fact sheet).
    • One additional state will be in production by the end of 2009.
  • Completed a privacy impact assessment for DL photo sharing interstate.
  • Developed a tool kit to assist all states desiring future entry into the photo sharing network.
    • ARJIS, as a part of the SRFERS project, developed privacy guidance for the use of corrections photos by sharing states.
    • Nlets enhanced their infrastructure to accommodate the interstate photo sharing.
  • Created a "Lessons Learned" document that captures the successes and pitfalls that future participants can emulate, or avoid.


  1. Nlets’ goal is to implement DL and correction photo sharing in all 50 states.
  2. Nlets recently received additional funding to expand DL and correction photo sharing to additional states.
  3. Nlets continues to collect lessons learned and success stories.
  4. Nlets continues to provide technical assistance and support to states.
  5. Nlets will not consider photo sharing a success until it is implemented in all 50 states.


  • Law enforcement and public safety officials have the capability to share driver license images interstate which provides the following benefits:
    • Immediate, positive identification
    • Detection of fraudulent use of driver licenses
    • Potential, future use of photo sharing to identify AMBER Alert victims (using state issued IDs)
  • Nlets upgraded its capabilities for photo exchange, which, in turn, provides the following benefits:
    • Nlets’ IT infrastructure will be able to handle the additional volume of data resulting from the nationwide traffic
    • Participating states and organizations will continue to receive the level of service expected from Nlets
  • Clarified policy guidance for handling privacy issues Relating to DL and correction photos.
  • A standardized methodology to which all public safety organizations opting into Nlets’ image exchange network will adhere
  • Simplified entry into the program by other states via the standards/governance tool kit