Beginning in July, New York State will change the look of its driver's licenses in a move to reduce forgeries that lead to identity theft, underage drinking and-- worst-case scenario—possible terrorist attacks, reported The New York Times.
Officials say that the new production method—laser engraved in grayscale on rigid polycarbonate—and a bevy of other subtle feature changes will make the licenses virtually impossible to forge.
"We see the New York driver’s license as the first line of defense,” said J. David Sampson, executive deputy commissioner of the State Department of Motor Vehicles.
Yes, the portraits on each license will "go retro," that is, turn from color, to a black-and-white design. Yes, the move, is mostly for security reasons… and the new licenses will look kind of cool!
Personal data will be engraved; also, a small “ghost image,” portrait of the driver will float in a transparent window and will be visible from the front and the back.; and the new cards will be so stiff, they sound like a compact disc when dropped.
New York is the second state to adopt this technology. The first was Virginia in 2009. Pam Goheen, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, said that since the change, the department had not seen a “credible” forgery of a Virginia license, and any attempts at counterfeiting so far have looked “awful.”
New York State officials said they expect these multiple layers of changes together will make for a solid, monolithic new driver's license that "cannot be tampered with.”