PennDOT Rolling Out Newly-Designed Driver Licenses, ID Cards

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Penndot Driver License Sample

An example of the newly-designed Pa. driver’s license. Credit: PennDOT

The next time you get a new driver’s license, it may have a new look.

PennDOT last week announced security enhancements as part of ongoing updates to driver’s license and state-issued identification cards.

The new security features and altered card design will boost fraud prevention efforts by safeguarding against copying and tampering, state officials said.

“The update is an important component of PennDOT’s ongoing work to enhance and protect the integrity of the driver license and identification card issuance process,” PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said.

Over the next four-year renewal cycle, the new cards will gradually replace the current ones. During the changeover, both the current and new card designs will be in use. Therefore, unless your license is ready to expire, you are not required to take any action.

The new design is rolling out first at a single PennDOT center in the central portion of the state.

By mid-November 2022, all PennDOT centers will have switched over to the new type.

The new design and security features will be utilized by both conventional and REAL ID compatible licenses and cards, PennDOT said. REAL ID is optional in Pennsylvania, and customers are able to opt in to REAL ID.

Starting on May 3, 2023, Pennsylvanians will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, photo ID card or another type of federally acceptable identification to board a domestic commercial flight or enter a federal building or military installation that requires ID.

Some of the enhanced features include:

  • Guilloche Security Design, a feature that includes sophisticated techniques to embed a variety of customized security patterning into the credential, using non-commercial software developed specifically for high security documents (banknotes, passports, ID cards, etc).
  • Optically Variable Ghost Portrait and Variable Data with UV, features that change their appearance when the viewing angle of the card changes, which moves them from fully visible to non-visible. The card also includes an ultraviolet (UV) response that fluoresces under UV lighting. The UV response is fixed–visible under UV light regardless of viewing angle.
  • Dynamic Look Through Element (DLTE), a dynamic feature with gold metallic tint that is visible under direct lighting.

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