Northampton Press

Saturday, February 22, 2020

PennDOT to phase in new licenses, ID cards

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 by CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE in Local News

As part of ongoing security enhancements, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has updated the design and enhanced the security features of its driver’s licenses and identification card products.

PennDOT entered a new contract with MorphoTrust USA in August of 2015 for the design and issuance of licenses and identification cards. This update is unrelated to the REAL ID Act.

“The update is an important component of PennDOT’s ongoing work to enhance and protect the integrity of the driver’s license and identification card issuance process,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said.

PennDOT began a pilot of the new products beginning June 19 at the Riverfront Office Center location in Harrisburg.

All driver and photo centers will transition to the new products by the end of this month. They will be phased in over the next four-year renewal cycle and will replace existing products. The new cards are not REAL ID-compliant as many changes will be necessary for Pennsylvania to issue REAL ID-compliant products. PennDOT anticipates that REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards will be available at customers’ option in 2019.

The cards look different, but they also have additional security features — a larger primary portrait and smaller ghost portrait, 2D bar code with data unique to the card holder, laser perforation (the keystone outline with “PA” is embedded into the card stock) and lamination with an optically variable pattern with the state motto, Keystone outline and “1787”).

In addition to the above changes, the magnetic strip has been eliminated from the back of the newly designed driver’s license and identification cards.

For more information and to see an image of the new card design, visit