AAMVA Verification overview


AAMVA Verification is a Verification type that lets you check whether information from a US driver’s license matches information in an official Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database.

AAMVA stands for the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. AAMVA is the organization that runs the service we use to interface with DMV data.

AAMVA Verification is a convenient way to catch common types of fraudulent driver’s licenses. Notably, not all US states participate in AAMVA, and there are other limitations. To offset these limitations, you can use AAMVA Verification together with other Persona Verification types and products.

Below, we’ll cover:

  • Types of fraud AAMVA Verification can catch
  • Which U.S. states are covered by AAMVA
  • Common use cases
  • Limitations
  • How to get started

Types of fraud AAMVA Verification can catch

AAMVA Verification matches information on a driver’s license against what is in a DMV database. Thus, it can catch these scenarios:

  • Tampered IDs
    • Examples:
      • A fake driver’s license that has a falsified birthdate, but otherwise accurate information.
  • Synthetic identities
    • Examples:
      • A fake driver’s license that has a completely fabricated identity.
      • A fake driver’s license that has valid (perhaps stolen) information about a person in the DMV database, but does not have a valid barcode.
  • Genuine IDs that are no longer valid
    • Examples:
      • A real driver’s license that has been reported to the DMV as lost or stolen.
      • A real driver’s license that is expired.

U.S. States covered by AAMVA

AAMVA Verification covers most, but not all US states. Some states do not participate in the AAMVA system, and some states only allow access to government organizations.

Note that on Persona, it’s easy to set up AAMVA Verification to run only on driver’s licenses from a covered state.

As of early 2023, the following jurisdictions are not covered by AAMVA Verification:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Louisiana
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Utah

Common use cases

AAMVA Verification is commonly used as:

  • An added validation run on Inquiries you deem higher-risk: You can configure AAMVA Verification to run automatically when an Inquiry shows signs of being higher-risk. In Persona, you can define custom conditional logic to express what it means to be higher-risk (e.g. if a user fails a specific Verification check earlier in the Inquiry).
  • An additional input requested by human reviewers: AAMVA Verifications can be a tool for human reviewers who want more information to decide whether a submitted ID is valid. A reviewer can send the end user a link to a new Inquiry that takes them through an AAMVA Verification.


Types of fraud AAMVA Verification can’t catch

While AAMVA Verification is a convenient way to catch certain kinds of fraud, there are some things it can’t do. For example, it cannot catch:

  • A fake driver’s license that displays valid personal details on the front side, that match a valid barcode on the back side.
    • Note: AAMVA Verification cannot verify other aspects of the license, such as the photo or signature.
  • A real driver’s license being used by someone who does not own it.

Offset limitations with other Persona products

You can offset many of the limitations of AAMVA Verification by combining it with other Persona products. For example, you can catch when a driver’s license is used by someone who doesn’t own it by leveraging Persona’s Government ID and Selfie Verifications.

Get started

Learn how to use AAMVA Verification

See Using AAMVA Verification to learn common ways to set up AAMVA Verification on Persona.

Set up AAMVA Verification

If you’re interested in using AAMVA Verification, reach out to your customer success manager or contact the Persona support team.