In January 2016, the state of Montana released a newly designed driver’s license and identification card. Although not completely compliant with the federal REAL ID act, the new design does boast a number of upgraded security features that were added to reduce potential identity theft and unlawful license duplication. The new card design includes:
- Detailed fine-line graphic background: also known as guilloche, a pre-printed background design with many lines and colors makes the documents difficult to accurately reproduce
- Optically variable features such as the Montana state bird, the word “Montana”, and ponderosa pine trees appear in the foreground
- Laser-perforated design: the Montana state flower, Bitterroot, is embedded into the card stock and visible only when the document is held up to a light source
- Ultraviolet sensitive inks are embedded into the card design
- A ghosted second portrait appears on the lower right hand side
- Redundant date: birth date is repeated on back of the card
- A ghosted ultraviolet third portrait appears on the back of the card
- 2D barcode on the back of the card protects citizens’ information
Additionally, the temporary paper document distributed while a citizen waits to receive a permanent laminated card in the mail has a fresh design as well. The temporary documents will be printed on chemically sensitive paper with ultraviolet security fibers, and include a high security detailed background and 2D barcodes to protect citizens’ variable data.
No Montana citizen needs to obtain a new license or identification card until his current card expires or the information contained on the card needs to be updated. Current licenses and identification cards remain valid until the expiration date. The fee for a new license (for ages 21-67) is $40.50, and the fee for an identification card is $16; each is valid for 8 years.
For more information on Montana’s new driver’s license and identification cards, see: MT-DL-Brochure.