Home » Kentucky introducing new tamper-resistant driver’s licenses

Kentucky introducing new tamper-resistant driver’s licenses

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 3, 2012) — Kentucky introduced its new driver’s licenses in a pilot program this week in McLean County.

The state is transitioning to a license that looks much the same, but contains features for greater security, protection of privacy and resistance to tampering.

The new license has multiple layers of security features, all linked to each other, including: a digital watermark imperceptible to the human eye; bank note-level fine line printing; dual-side lamination for greater tamper resistance and durability; and a hologram with single-color, ultraviolet “ghost” image.

Starting in the fall, new licenses will also feature veteran and organ donor designations.

Drivers are not required to obtain new licenses until their current licenses expire. The process for obtaining or renewing a driver license will not change. The cost of $20 will also remain the same.

Kentucky last updated driver’s licenses in 2001, with the introduction of digital licenses for improved security. Kentucky was the first state to put the driver’s image in the bar code on the back of the license. With the next stage of Kentucky’s driver’s license, those security measures will be tightened to provide even greater resistance to fraud.

The new security features were designed by MorphoTrust USA, which provides driver license issuance solutions for 41 states and the District of Columbia.

“The new licenses are the manifestation of Kentucky’s efforts to improve the level of service provided to our customers, in addition to securing a credential Kentuckians use each day,” said Commissioner Tom Zawacki of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) Department of Vehicle Regulation.

Security features are linked to each other on the card so that counterfeiters must compromise not one, but multiple technologies. This linked-and-layered approach means cards can be self-authenticating, with no need for cumbersome online lookups that require accessing personal information. The whole approach respects privacy while adding security.

All of the licenses’ new features help protect against counterfeiting and simulation, alteration, photo substitution and other tampering, according to MorphoTrust USA. The changes also provide a longer-lasting, more durable card as well as enabling more reliable authentication at points of inspection.

Pilot installations will continue in Bourbon County on Aug. 9, Anderson County on Aug. 14, Woodford County on Aug. 16, Jefferson County Dixie Highway and Warren County on Aug. 21, and Pulaski County and McCracken County on Aug. 23. The pilots will be followed by a four-office-per-day installation expected to conclude in early October.