Utah driver licenses to get a new look

Photo Courtesy: Utah Department of Public Safety

UTAH, June 16, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The Utah Department of Public Safety’s Driver License Division will begin issuing a new, more secure driver license and identification card design, officials announced Wednesday.

“Utah’s new design advances fraud protection measures compared to the old design and improves the security of the physical license,” said a news release. “It was five years ago — in 2016 — when the Driver License Division last rolled out a new design for Utah’s driver license and ID cards.”

DPS Commissioner Jess L. Anderson said: “The longer a document is in circulation, the more likely it is to be compromised by counterfeiters or alteration. 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 main area of the new license displays a stylized image of Angels Landing in Zion National Park and Delicate Arch from Arches National Park forms the A in Utah at the top of the license.

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 thwarts fraud by putting in countermeasures that are extremely difficult to reproduce,” said Anderson.

A quarter century ago, driver 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 DLD 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 said.

Enhanced security

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 current licenses?

Previously issued driver licenses are still valid until the expiration date listed on the card. People are not required to replace their current license or ID cards 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 licenses and ID cards with the old design will still be in use alongside the new cards. As with all the driver license and ID cards DLD 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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