SACRAMENTO -- The DMV announced the issuance of what it called newly designed, more secure California driver's licenses and identification cards. The new cards are distinguished by additional security features and will have a different look and feel, the DMV said.
The new cards are equipped with the latest in document security technology and have several features to protect them against fraud, tampering and counterfeiting.
"The new security features, coupled with advanced technology, make California driver licenses and identification cards one of the most secure identification documents in the country," said DMV Director George Valverde.
Information included on the new cards remains the same, but is presented in a new way that improves readability and ease of use. Some of the new features include a vertical layout for persons under 21; the cardholder's date of birth and signatures that can be felt by touch; images that can be seen only with the use of ultraviolet lights; a 2D bar code on the back of the card that replicates and verifies only the information on the front of the card (similar to the current magnetic stripe); and a laser perforation outline of the California Brown Bear, which can be seen from the front of the card when a flashlight is pressed against the back of the card.
Each year, the DMV issues more than 8.25 million driver's licenses and ID cards to Californians. It is of the utmost importance that these documents are safe, authentic, secure and accurate to properly identify each individual cardholder, the agency said in a news release.
More importantly, the news release added, the cards have been designated as the primary identification documents in the state. It's the first major revision of California driver licenses and ID cards since 2001.
While new cards began to be issued earlier this week, existing ID or driver license cardholders aren't required to get a new card.
"It is very important to understand that cardholders are not required to get new cards until the expiration date printed on their current cards." said Valverde. "Remember, when it is time to renew your card, DMV has many services that are offered online to help customers avoid going into the field offices."
For more information on the new driver's license and ID card or to conduct other DMV business online, visit www.dmv.ca.gov.