TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Starting in May 2019, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles began releasing a modified Florida driver license and ID card with enhanced security features to customers. Modifications include the removal of the magnetic strip on the back of the credential, the addition of a tactile security feature and changes to the data and data layout. By the end of August 2019, the modified credential will be available at all service centers throughout Florida and online.

“The release of this new credential is part of a continued effort to maintain the highest level of security for all Floridians,” said Terry L. Rhodes, Executive Director of the FLHSMV. “In cooperation with law enforcement and our stakeholders, we are committed to enhancing security, preventing fraud and best serving our customers.”

In 2017, the department began issuing a redesigned Florida driver license and ID card to provide enhanced security features for customers, better protection against identity and driver license fraud. The security features ensure Floridians continue to receive the most secure over-the-counter driver license and ID card on the market today.

“Florida Tax Collectors look forward to putting our citizens first in issuing the new driver license in partnership with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles,” said Ben Anderson, President of the  Florida Tax Collectors Association.

Individuals are not required to replace their current driver license or ID card during this time, unless their current credential has reached its expiration, or a required change is needed, such as a name or address change.

Previously issued driver license and ID cards will still be used until they are replaced or phased out. Any credentials with a magnetic strip and no tactile feature with an issue date after August 31, 2019, are fraudulent.

To learn more about the modifications, visit flhsmv.gov/newDL, which includes additional resources.

Additionally, customers are encouraged to check their credential for the gold star in the upper right-hand corner of their credential to verify if they are REAL ID compliant. If a customer does not see a gold star, they will need to go into a driver license service center or tax collector office to become REAL ID compliant. Visit flhsmv.gov/locations to find the nearest service center and make an appointment. For the list of what to documents to bring to become REAL ID compliant, visit flhsmv.gov/whattobring. Learn more atflhsmv.gov/REALID.

The changes will affect more than 15-million licensed drivers throughout the state of Florida. The most noticeable difference will be the removal of the black magnetic strip which will free up space for more features.

“What this allows us to do is put additional security features on the card including a tactile security features so you will actually feel something in the bottom right hand corner,” said Alexis Bakofsky, Deputy Communications Director with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

A small bump over the letter F-L will make it so you can distinguish if the ID is real or fake just by touch.

“Anything that will add to security i’m for,” said one driver. “To have a bump where you can just actually feel something instead of having to look out for a feature on the I.D. I think will make it easier to determine.”

The new changes come just 2 years after Florida redesigned their driver’s licenses in August 2017.

Bakofsky says the department has been planning these changes since 2017.

“We always want to make sure we are staying ahead of the curve. In terms of the market for driver’s license I.D. cards, Florida has the most secure credential on the market.”
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