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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Southern California

New California Driver Licenses

The California DMV issued a new driver license that could be the most secure in the country

An example of the new California driver license. (Photo courtesy of the California Department of Motor Vehicles)
An example of the new California driver license. (Photo courtesy of the California Department of Motor Vehicles)
The Department of Motor Vehicles announced in a press conference today that they will be instating a new California license that will have the latest in security technology.

The licenses and identification cards will have a different look and feel that officials hope will protect them against fraud, tampering and counterfeiting.

“The security aspect is the most important part of the new license,” said Steve Haskins, a spokesman from the DMV in an interview with ATVN. “We really have customer security as one of our main concerns.”

While the information on the cards will remain the same, the new layout of the ID will make it easier to read and use. Some new features of the card are a vertical layout for those under 21, and a raised date of birth and signature that can be felt.

Along with images that can only be seen with ultraviolet lights, a 2D barcode on the back of the card will replicate and verify the information on the front.

“If a counterfeiter wants to make a card, chances are that they aren’t going to be able to recreate all of the holograms,” said Haskins. “The card has innate features that are really hard to duplicate.”

Another security feature is a laser perforated outline of the California Brown Bear that can be seen on the front of the card when a flashlight is pressed against the back.

The DMV feels that these changes will give customers the security that they need to insure that their information is private.

“We are creating an identity document that we feel might be the most secure of any state,” said Haskins.

The DMV began issuing the new IDs earlier this week; however those with the old ID will not be required to get the new card until their current one expires.

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