Pennsylvania’s new driver’s license design is on track to be available starting Aug. 9, 2017. The updated design offers enhanced security features for the state’s driver license and identification card products. Some of the enhanced features include:
- Larger primary portrait and smaller ghost portrait.
- 1D and 2D barcode, which contain data from the front of the card unique to the cardholder.
- Laser perforation – the Keystone outline with “PA” is embedded into the card stock and can be observed by holding the card up to any light source.
- Each card is laminated 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.
- Elimination of the magnetic strip found on older designs. Information in the magnetic strip is in the 2D barcode.
The design update, however, is not related to the REAL ID Act and not in compliance with the federal mandates. The act pertains to security authentication and issuance procedure standards for the driver’s licenses and identity documents. The requirements allow residents into federal facilities and commercial airplanes.
Pennsylvania is under an extension with Homeland Security. The extension runs until Oct. 10, which means that Pennsylvania residents will not face access issues when entering federal facilities through that date. The state will continue to request extensions from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security until REAL ID products are available for residents. PennDOT and REAL ID-compliant driver licenses and identification cards will be available as a customer option in 2019.
All states will be required by law to comply with the REAL ID mandates by Oct. 1, 2020.