Kentucky introducing new, tamper-resistant driver’s license

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Security features help to protect license holders’ identity

Kentucky in August begins a transition to a new driver’s license that, while similar in appearance to current licenses, contains security features for greater protection of privacy and resistance to tampering.
“The new licenses are the manifestation of Kentucky’s efforts to improve the level of service provided to our customers, in addition to securing a credential Kentuckians use each day,” Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) Department of Vehicle Regulation Commissioner Tom Zawacki said.
“It was already time to replace the cameras and computer equipment - most of it more than 10 years old - that our circuit court  clerks use in issuing driver’s licenses, Zawacki said. “That made it an ideal time to also make this transition to a new license.”
The new license has multiple layers of security features, all linked to each other, so counterfeiters must compromise multiple technologies - not just one.
The licenses’ new feature include:
• Digital watermark imperceptible to the human eye;
• Bank note-level fine line printing;
• Enhanced or Improved Dual-side lamination for greater tamper resistance and durability; and
• Hologram with single-color, ultraviolet “ghost” image.
Kentucky last updated driver’s licenses in 2001, with the introduction of digital licenses. The new format offered improved security. Kentucky was the first state to put the driver’s image in the bar code on the back of the license. With the next stage of Kentucky’s driver’s license, those security measures will be tightened to provide even greater resistance to fraud.
Installation of new cameras and computer equipment will require a one-day suspension of driver’s license processing at each circuit court clerk’s office. Installations are scheduled to begin in August and be completed by October. The first installation of equipment will be in McLean County Aug. 7. The new licenses should be available there the next day.
Starting in the fall, new licenses will also feature veteran and organ donor designations.
Customers are not required to obtain new licenses until their current licenses expire. The process for obtaining or renewing a driver license will not change. The cost of $20 will also remain the same.
More information and answers to some frequently asked questions can be found on KYTC’s website at http://transportation.ky.gov/pages/digital-drivers-license.aspx.