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Sunday October 24, 2021 Salt Lake City, UT

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Protecting Utah

Utah Driver Licenses and ID Cards to Get a New Look

Wednesday June 16, 2021

New Design to Help Prevent Fraud and Protect Identities

This is a sample driver license that now features a stylized image of Angels Landing in Zion National Park, replacing the Utah State Capitol on the previous version of the license. The new license incorporates new security features. At the bottom of this email is a vertical version of the license for drivers who are younger than 21.

What’s new

The Utah Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Driver License Division will begin issuing a new, more secure driver license and identification card design. 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 DPS’ mission of keeping Utah safe.

It was five years ago – in 2016 – when the Driver License Division (DLD) last rolled out a new design for Utah’s driver license and ID cards. Commissioner Anderson explained 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,” said Commissioner Anderson. “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.”

Commissioner Jess L. Anderson

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,” said Commissioner Anderson.

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,” said Commissioner 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. 


Enhanced security

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 licenses are still valid until the expiration date listed on the card. Individuals are not required to replace their current driver 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 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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MEDIA CONTACT

Joe Dougherty
DPS Public Affairs Director
Department of Public Safety
JDOUGHERTY@UTAH.GOV

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