ST. GEORGE — The Utah Department of Public Safety’s Driver License Division will begin issuing a new, more secure driver’s license and identification card design.
According to a press release issued by the Department of Public Safety, Utah’s new design advances fraud protection measures compared to the old design and improves the security of the physical license. DPS Commissioner Jess L. Anderson revealed the new design and said that ultimately, the goal of the redesign is part of department’s mission of keeping Utah safe.
It was five years ago – in 2016 – when the Driver License Division last rolled out a new design for Utah’s driver’s license and ID cards. Anderson said in the release that the reasoning behind the periodic updating of the driver license is to maintain the security and integrity of the document.
“The longer a document is in circulation, the more likely it is to be compromised by counterfeiters or alteration,” he said. “The industry standard is to regularly update cards and continuously employ updated technology in the design and production of them. Our ultimate goal by updating the design is to maintain the integrity of the credential itself and protect people’s identities.”
New design elements
The new design highlights two iconic features of Utah’s natural beauty. The main area of the new license displays a stylized image of Angels Landing in Zion National Park and the iconic Delicate Arch from Arches National Park forms the A in Utah at the top of the license.
“We are proud of the awe-inspiring natural beauty of Utah and we are proud to highlight just a couple of those features in our new driver license design,” Anderson said.
Angels Landing and Delicate Arch aren’t just aesthetic elements of the new design; they incorporate technology and printing techniques that employ cutting edge security protocols.
“The technology employed in today’s driver licenses thwart fraud by putting in countermeasures that are extremely difficult to reproduce,” Anderson said.
A quarter century ago, driver’s licenses were essentially a photo that was cut and tucked into a laminate and the measures to deter fraud for these documents were limited. Now, the Driver’s License Division produces documents with very elaborate overlapping of data and graphics and laser printed elements that go a long way toward identifying if the document has been altered or is a fraudulent document, the news release states.
There are many security features in the document but we only describe a few of them to protect the integrity of the document. Several of the new credential’s increased security features include:
- The date of birth printed on the card in red type as well as laser engraved in larger font on the card.
- A laser engraved ghost image repeated from the photograph.
- A laser ablation over the top of the driver photograph.
- A guilloche security design featuring waves and patterns printed in very fine lines that are not able to be scanned or easily reproduced.
What about my current license?
It’s important to note that previously issued driver’s licenses are still valid until the expiration date listed on the card. Individuals are not required to replace their current driver’s license or ID card during this time, unless their current credential has reached its expiration or a required change is needed, such as a name or address change.
Driver’s licenses and ID cards with the old design will still be in use alongside the new cards. As with all the driver’s licenses and ID cards the division has issued since January 2019, the new cards will be REAL ID compliant, as noted by the gold star in the upper right corner.
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