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Arizona's redesigned driver license, new process now effective

Central issuance and new design help to protect against identity theft
June 16, 2014

PHOENIX – Effective today (June 16), the newly designed Arizona driver license – and a new process to get it – are now in place.

The Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division has expanded the central credential issuance process to all offices statewide, meaning that customers visiting a Motor Vehicle Division or Authorized Third Party office to obtain a new driver license or identification card will leave with a temporary credential. The permanent license or identification card will be mailed to the customer and received within 15 days.

New driver license imageWith a primary focus on protecting a customer’s personal information and protect against identity theft, ADOT has launched a new, high-security credential format. Arizona is following a change occurring across the nation by many states with the production of a driver license with a background that contains numerous security features. The previously designed photo background was very limited in its capability to contain viable security features.

“Our top priority is always customer safety and security,” said Stacey Stanton, director of ADOT’s Motor Vehicle Division. “The new and improved security features better safeguard personal information. The updated issuance process has added steps for ensuring the license or identification card is delivered to the right person and helps prevent identity theft.”

There is no need for a customer to rush out to an office to obtain the new credential. A current driver license or identification card will remain valid until its expiration date – or at least until the 12-year mark when the photo needs to be refreshed. The price of a duplicate credential remains $12 for many customers.

Customers at ADOT Motor Vehicle Division offices will no longer be issued a permanent or duplicate driver license or identification card at the end of the application process. The credential will instead be mailed to the address on the customer’s application. It is important to ensure the correct mailing address has been provided in order to receive the credential.

With the new central issuance process it is critical that customers keep their address updated with MVD. State law requires that residents notify the Motor Vehicle Division of an address change within 10 days, although the purchase of a new credential isn’t required. Address changes can be made online at ServiceArizona.com.

New Temporary LicenseThis central-issuance process has already been in place in 14 of ADOT’s offices in communities in Greater Arizona and in the Authorized Third Party offices that process driver licenses. Now the process has expanded to all offices statewide.

The temporary driver license or identification card contains a photo and the basic information that appears on the actual credential. As in other states that have moved to this process, the decision to accept the temporary credential as proof of identity exists solely with the organization requesting to see the license or identification card.

The process of central credential issuance is used by most states around the country and is a growing trend as states transition to higher-security credentials.

For at least 12 years, there will be more than one valid Arizona driver license and identification card.

Security features of the new credential include:

  • A larger primary portrait with a smaller redundant ghost portrait ensuring customer appearance is clearly reflected.
  • A high-security, design comprised of unique Arizona geological features in the background created through the use of Guilloché innovative symmetry. A Guilloché design involves techniques consisting of intricate, repetitive patterns that are interwoven to guard against counterfeiting, altering or other fraudulent use, making for a more secure credential.
  • A laser perforation in the shape of Arizona, which when held up to the light is used to quickly authenticate the credential.
  • Tactile date of birth field to assist in authenticating the credential using the sense of touch. The date in this field will have a raised feel to it.
  • Tri-color Optically Variable Device consisting of the state outline, the state name “Arizona,” the state seal, a saguaro cactus and a star. This laminate overlay provides the final layer of the credential and provides one more feature for authentication.
  • The ringtail, declared the state mammal in 1986, is illustrated on the front of the new credential. Ringtails, found throughout the state, are cat-sized carnivores resembling a small fox with a long raccoon-like tail.