A spokesman for the Iowa Department of Transportation says the man accused of killing Mollie Tibbetts of Brooklyn did not use any official Iowa Driver’s License or ID to get a job.

The owner of the farm where Cristhian Rivera worked said he showed them an ID when applying for his job. Rivera is in the country illegally and DOT spokesman Mark Lowe says they checked his name and similar names against their database.

He says they also loaded a picture of Rivera into their facial recognition program to check all the images in the database. Lowe says it is a relatively quick process to do a facial recognition check. Lowe says it takes probably a couple of hours to run the check.

Lowe says the facial recognition system is now used every time someone comes in to renew or get a new license. “We take the template of that image and we run it against all of the images that we have to make sure that we’re not establishing one person with multiple identities…,” Lowe says. “And the other thing that we do is to compare to your image of last record to make sure that they match — to make sure that someone is not coming in and trying use your identity.”

He says they do sometimes get requests from law enforcement from in and out of the state to search for someone.  “As we did here, we can take an image that was taken outside our system and template that and still use our facial recognition software to then ask if there were any matches in our system to try and identify somebody,” he says. “In this case were we’re trying to rule somebody out — but more often it’s to ask if we can identify somebody.”

Lowe says using the facial recognition has dramatically dropped the number of attempts people make to try and get a driver’s license under someone else’s name.  “And the other one that I think surprises people sometimes — actually mailing the credentials to somebody also has really discouraged that.   Because people who are trying to commit fraud don’t want to give you an address where they can be found, what they wanted to do is get that credential and walk out the door,” Lowe says. “So, that process of creating that gated issuance and also creating a place where that goes has really significantly diminished the overall fraud and the overall attempts at fraud.”

The business owner did not reveal where the ID that he says Rivera showed him was from.