The state with the most counterfeited driver’s license is doing something about it.
Alaska will begin issuing new ones with better security features in June. Existing licenses and IDs will be phased out as they expire and are renewed.
Division of Motor Vehicles offices will no longer make permanent IDs on location. Instead, they’ll be processed and mailed from a secure location.
DMV Director Amy Erickson says issuing licenses from a secure centralized facility is an industry standard. Twenty-six other states are already doing it.
“It helps to prevent fraud and protect people’s identities,” she says. “It keeps the printers and the materials and the cards out of the hands of people that might be able to counterfeit them.”
Erickson says Alaska is known for having an easily counterfeited ID.
“Counterfeiters can buy this card stock and generate an Alaska license on their own. We are No. 1 in the nation of counterfeiting, according to the motor vehicle industry,” she says.
New Alaska licenses and IDs will come from Indiana-based Marquis ID Systems. Cards will feature a new design of the mountain Denali, fine line patterns like those on dollar bills, and a laminate with a hologram of snowflakes and the state seal.
When you apply for or renew a license, the DMV will issue a temporary license on the spot that’s valid for 60 days. The permanent IDs are expected to arrive by mail in two to four weeks. Erickson says the state will meet with the Transportation Security Administration, banks and other entities about the temporary cards. She doesn’t foresee problems since many other states are already using them.
“I actually used a temporary license when I flew out of state last week, and I used it when I was out of state and had no problems whatsoever,” Erickson says.
The new licenses won’t cost the state extra. DMV fees will remain the same.
The state last issued a new driver’s license in 2005 when it went to a digital system.
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