New licenses on the way for Pennsylvania drivers

PennDOT says the cards look different and have additional enhanced security features.

This story originally appeared on 6abc. 

Newly designed driver licenses will soon be available for Pennsylvania drivers, PennDOT announced Monday.

The licenses and identification cards are part of the department’s ongoing security enhancements.

The new products will first be available at the Summerdale Driver License Center in Enola, Cumberland County beginning Monday.

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Then by mid-November, all driver and photo centers across the state will transition to the new licenses.

PennDOT says the new licenses will be phased in over the next four-year renewal cycle and will replace existing ones. Both current and new card designs will be in circulation during the transition period.

“The update is an important component of PennDOT’s ongoing work to enhance and protect the integrity of the driver license and identification card issuance process,” PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said in a press release.

The license looks slightly different at first glance from the previous version with some driver information rearranged on the card. The corner ghost portrait is now in a circle.

A driver's license mockup is shown.
A new driver’s license format will be introduced for Pa. drivers. (Courtesy of 6abc)

PennDOT says the cards also have additional enhanced security features that improve fraud prevention and protect from counterfeiting and alteration.

These features include:

  • Guilloche Security Design, a feature that includes sophisticated techniques to embed a variety of customized security patterning into the credential, using non-commercial software developed specifically for high security documents (banknotes, passports, ID cards, etc);
  • Optically Variable Ghost Portrait and Variable Data with UV, features that change their appearance when the viewing angle of the card changes, which moves them from fully visible to non-visible. The card also includes an ultraviolet (UV) response that fluoresces under UV lighting. The UV response is fixed – visible under UV light regardless of viewing angle;
  • Dynamic Look Through Element (DLTE), a dynamic feature with gold metallic tint that is visible under direct lighting.

Both standard and REAL ID compliant products will use the new design and security features, PennDOT said.

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REAL ID is optional in Pennsylvania, and customers are able to opt into REAL ID.

Beginning May 3, 2023, Pennsylvania residents will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, photo ID card, or another form of federally acceptable identification (such as a valid passport or military ID) to board a domestic commercial flight or enter a federal building or military installation that requires ID.

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