New York is pioneering a reportedly “unforgeable” driver’s license. The new driver’s license will be engraved with a ghost image that floats in a transparent window. The state of Virginia introduced a similar card in 2009. This initiative is another step in the crackdown on illegal and undocumented aliens. Since driver’s licenses are a primary form of ID, reducing or eliminating forged licenses will significantly impact fraud, identity theft and illegal employment.
The new driver’s license will have a black and white photo and the license will be a hard polycarbonate card instead of the current bendable version. They’ll look like a credit card type document. They will be similar to the passport cards issued by the State Department. Virginia has been using this technology for several years and reports minimal forgery.
A BBC article (by Jong Kelly) entitled “why fake ID is an American rite of passage” doubted the effort would be successful in reducing the use of fake ID by underage drinkers. The title says it all – generations of young people have used fake ID to buy alcohol. They’ll find a way to circumvent the system somehow.
When will the new cards be issued? We’ll see the first new licenses issued in July 2013. We’ll report back when we learn more about how the new IDs can be verified by bartenders and bouncers. Restaurant and bar owners will want to educate their staff about the new licenses over the next 2 months to effectively undertake Employment I-9 verification and ID checks for underage drinking.