As part of ongoing security enhancements, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has updated the design and enhanced the security features of its driver license and identification cards.
PennDOT entered a new contract with MorphoTrust USA in August 2015 for the design and issuance of new cards and over the last 22 months has worked with the company on planning, design and deployment. This update, however, is unrelated to the REAL ID Act.
PennDOT began a pilot of the new products in June at the Riverfront Office Center location in Harrisburg. All driver and photo centers will transition to the new products by the end of this October and new products will be phased in over the next four-year renewal cycle and will replace existing products.
Both current and new card designs will be in circulation during the transition period.
The new cards are not REAL ID-compliant. System, building infrastructure and process changes will be necessary for Pennsylvania to issue REAL ID-compliant products. PennDOT anticipates that REAL ID-compliant driver licenses and identification cards will be available at the customer’s option in 2019.
The cards look very different, but they also have additional enhanced security features, which improve fraud prevention and protect from counterfeiting and alteration.
Some of the enhanced features include: larger primary portrait and smaller ghost portrait;
2D barcode, which contain data from the front of the card unique to the cardholder; laser perforation; and laminate with an optically-variable pattern with the state motto, “Virtue, Liberty, Independence,” Keystone outline and “1787,” the year when the U.S. Constitution was ratified by Pennsylvania.