State driver licenses, identification cards receive redesign

California driver licenses have received a face-lift, the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles announced today.

New California license

The new California license.

In an effort to better protect against fraud, tampering and counterfeiting, the licenses — unveiled today at a press conference in South Sacramento — were redesigned with additional security features.

“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, per a DMV press release. “We are confident that they will be well-received by residents, businesses and law enforcement officials.”

The new license for those under age 21.

The new license for those under age 21.

The information on the cards will remain the same, but they feature new elements. Images will be added that can only be seen using ultraviolet lights, a laser outline of the California Brown Bear will be included on the front of the card that can only be seen when a flashlight is pressed against the back of the license, and the birthday and signature of the cardholder will be able to be felt by touch. Additionally, licenses for people under the age of 21 will move to a vertical layout — a measure several other states have in place.

Officials said this is the first major revision of state driver licenses and identification cards since 2001.

Although new cards were issued earlier this week, existing driver license or ID holders will not be required to get a new card until their current one expires.

An example of the new driver’s license can be found here.

Images of the new under-21 I.D. card can be found here.