On July 26, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) revealed the first new Massachusetts driver’s license and Mass ID design since 2010. Set to phase in over the course of the next 5 years, the new Massachusetts driver’s license design is so secure that it places Massachusetts among the top states in the country for ID card security.
Current license and ID-holding Massachusetts residents will automatically receive the new design when their licenses expire, and new drivers will receive the new design effective immediately. All current licenses and MA IDs will remain valid until they expire, requiring no action from Massachusetts residents.
Security features in the Massachusetts ID and driver’s license design, including federally-required REAL ID features (which all MA IDs will contain by 2020, the future deadline for individuals to board a plane or enter a federal building) include:
- Second bar code on the reverse side that contains demographic information from the front
- Raised lettering of cardholder’s initials and birth year
- Laser perforation and engraving
- Ultraviolet (UV) ink only visible under ultraviolet light
- A Kinegram® (foil-based optical security image)
- Laser Write – cardholder’s initials and year of birth appear within the Kinegram®. This feature can also be viewed when backlit, using a flashlight.
- Multiple data placements -The individual applicant’s data is placed at various locations on the front and back of each document.
The Massachusetts RMV is remaining tight-lipped about other security features in order to prevent fraud.
Visually, the new card design features nods to Massachusetts’ Colonial history, including depictions of the State House Golden Dome, the Civil War Memorial to the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, the state bird (chickadee) and flower (the Mayflower).