Skip Navigation LinksDMV > DL/ID Security Feature FAQ

Driver’s License/Identification Card Security Feature Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is PennDOT adding this new security feature?
2. What does it look like?
3. Where is the new security feature on driver’s license/identification cards?
4. What is so unique about the new element?
5. What makes the new security feature work?
6. How will i know if i have a driver’s license/identification card with the new feature?
7. How long will it take for everyone to have a driver’s license/identification card with the new feature?
8. If i don’t want to wait until i renew, how do i get a driver’s license/identification card with the new security feature?
9. Do any other states or jurisdictions use this new security feature?
10. How much does this new security feature cost the tax payer?

1. Why is PennDOT adding this new security feature?
PennDOT remains vigilant in taking proactive measures to mitigate fraud, such as identify theft, by introducing a new, state of the art security element to Pennsylvania Driver’s Licenses and Identification Cards.

2. What does it look like?
The new security features uses “PA” which sits inside the Keystone symbol that is surrounded by a circle. To view a sample driver’s license with the new security feature, visit PennDOT’s Identity and Security Information Center.


3. Where is the new security feature on driver’s license/identification cards?
The new security feature includes two symbols that are placed over both photo images on the driver’s license and identification card.

4. What is so unique about the new element?
The new security feature combines several holographic techniques to design and render a simple, striking effect of a black & white switching hologram at high resolution. The black & white areas reverse when viewing angle is changed by 90°, and the reversing effect works in bright, moderate and low-light environments.

5. What makes the new security feature work?
  • Traditional holograms are designed to diffract light like a prism, resulting in a color rainbow effect It is uniquely designed to reflect rather than diffract light, resulting in a colorless hologram.
  • In addition, it is designed to switch it’s positive and negative elements when the viewing angle is rotated 90°.

6. How will i know if i have a driver’s license/identification card with the new feature?
  • View the driver’s license or photo identification so that the laminate holographic design can be seen.
    • Note that the feature is colorless and appears black & white
  • Without changing the angle of the viewing, rotate the card 90° left or right
    • The black & white elements will switch – the black becoming white and the white becoming black within the design
  • For night time or low light authentication, use a flashlight held at about a 30° to 60° angle to the card surface so that the feature appears.
    • Rotate either the card or the flashlight 90° and the feature will switch the black & white elements within its design

7. How long will it take for everyone to have a driver’s license/identification card with the new feature?
Since driver’s licenses and identification cards are issued on a four-year cycle, it will take four years for every driver’s license/identification card holder to have a product with the new security feature.

8. If i don’t want to wait until i renew, how do i get a driver’s license/identification card with the new security feature? You can complete an Application for a Non-Commercial Driver’s License Application for change/correction/replacement (DL-80) or an Application to Replace/Correct Commercial Driver’s License (DL-80CD) and pay the applicable fee. These applications can be downloaded from PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website.

9. Do any other states or jurisdictions use this new security feature?
No; Pennsylvania is the first state in the United States to begin using this new security feature.

10. How much does this new security feature cost the tax payer?
The cost of the new feature is so minimal that it will be absorbed in as part of the current photo fee.



Return to Frequently Asked Questions