State officials unveil high-tech makeover of driver’s licenses, ID cards

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SALT LAKE CITY – It’s been more than a decade since Utah updated the look of its driver’s license. Today, they unveiled the new design aimed at protecting you from identity theft and fraud.

“We recognize that a driver’s license is really the most widely accepted identification document in our society,” said Chris Caras, the Driver License Division Director.

Caras has seen firsthand how counterfeiters target your driver’s license and try to alter them to steal your identity and commit fraud.

“We’ve seen it snowball. It’s just exponentially been increasing and it’s been tougher and tougher to have a card in circulation that thwarted those efforts,” Caras said.

That’s why they’re redesigning its driver’s license and identification cards.

Some of the new enhanced security features include:

*Laser perforation: If you hold the card up to the light so it’s backlit, you’ll see the outline of a Beehive on the card itself.

“That’s another really quick triage of the card itself,” Caras said.

*Laser engraved ghost image: The ghost image is applied via laser.

*Unique barcodes: The 1D and 2D barcodes contain demographic data and identification numbers, unique to the carholder.

“We strategically place the overlapping of information and security features on the card,” Caras said. “So if someone tries to alter a date of birth, or alter some key information, you will see that because it will violate the security feature.”

Beginning today, people can apply for the new cards. Gov. Gary Herbert walked the media through the process at the Fair Park Driver License Office in Salt Lake City.

Over the next five years, the old cards will be replaced with the new ones.

It will take three to six weeks to receive the new card.

The governor says the extra security will pay off down the road.

“We as a state are very involved in technology in wanting to keep ahead of the curve so we can avoid having the bad guys have technology that we don’t have,” Herbert said.

You don’t have to wait ‘til your driver’s license expires in order to get the new design. Bring in your current one to a Driver’s License Division. However, you will have to pay an $18 duplication fee.