Small movements of the skin overlying the carotid artery, arising from pressure pulse changes in the carotid during the cardiac cycle, can be detected using the method of Laser Doppler Vibrometry (LDV). Based on the premise that there is a high degree of individuality in cardiovascular function, the pulse-related movements were modeled for biometric use. Short time variations in the signal due to physiological factors are described and these variations are shown to be informative for identity verification and recognition. Hidden Markov models (HMMs) are used to exploit the dependence between the pulse signals over successive cardiac cycles. The resulting biometric classification performance confirms that the LDV signal contains information that is unique to the individual.