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Newly-Designed Driver Licenses/Identification Cards Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why are the cards changing?
2. When is this happening?
3. When will I get my new product?
4. Do I need to replace my current product?
5. What's different about the new cards?
6. Are the new cards REAL-ID Compliant?

1. Why are the cards changing?
PennDOT takes its responsibility to protect the identities and personal information of its customers very seriously, so PennDOT is updating the design and enhancing the security features of its driver license and identification card products. The update is an important component of PennDOT’s ongoing work to enhance and protect the integrity of the driver license and identification card issuance process. 

2. When is this happening?
PennDOT will pilot the new products beginning on Monday, September 12, 2022 at the Summerdale Driver License Center in Enola. All Driver and Photo centers will transition to the new products by mid-November 2022. 

3. When will I get my new product?
The new products will be phased in during renewal cycles and will replace existing products. Both current and new card designs will be in circulation during the transition period. 

4. Do I need to replace my current product?
Current cards will be phased out during the normal renewal process – no need to replace current products, although customers are welcome to do so by requesting a duplicate product and paying the appropriate fee.

5. What's different about the new cards?
The cards look different and have additional enhanced security features that improve fraud prevention and protect from counterfeiting and alteration. Some of the enhanced features include:

   • Guilloche Security Design, a feature that includes sophisticated techniques to embed a variety of customized security patterning into the credential, using non-commercial software developed specifically for high security documents (banknotes, passports, ID cards, etc); 

   • Optically Variable Ghost Portrait and Variable Data with UV, features that change their appearance when the viewing angle of the card changes, which moves them from fully visible to non-visible. The card also includes an ultraviolet (UV) response that fluoresces under UV lighting. The UV response is fixed – visible under UV light regardless of viewing angle; 

   • Dynamic Look Through Element (DLTE), a dynamic feature with gold metallic tint that is visible under direct lighting. 

The new cards comply with American Association of Motor Vehicle Association (AAMVA) 2020 specifications

6. Are the new cards REAL-ID Compliant?
Both standard and REAL ID compliant products will use the new design and security features. REAL ID is optional in Pennsylvania, and customers are able to opt into REAL ID. Beginning May 7, 2025, Pennsylvanians will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, photo ID card, or another form of federally acceptable identification (such as a valid passport or military ID) to board a domestic commercial flight or enter a federal building or military installation that requires ID. More information about REAL ID can be on the REAL ID page on the Driver and Vehicle Services website. 

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