New Michigan Drivers License

In March of 2011, Michigan finally updated the standard drivers license (they had issued an Enhanced Drivers License but that was a more expensive drivers license which could be used as a passport when driving into the country) .  For the last 10 plus years, Michigan’s standard drivers license had just 3 fields on the magnetic stripe; ID number, date of birth and expiration date.   Every other state put name, address and drivers license information on the magnetic stripe but Michigan, in a misguided attempt to protect the top secret information like the driver’s name, omitted it from the data stripe.

Well Michigan finally got the message and added a PDF417 2D Barcode.  The magnetic stripe hasn’t changed, still only three fields on it, but the barcode has all info printed on the front of the ID.

  •  “Under 18 until MM-DD-YYYY” and “Under 21 until MM-DD-YYYY” will continue to be printed as applicable on the new cards.
  • The front laminate of the cards includes the current full-color shape of a Great Seal, viewable using a standard off-the-shelf black light, and a new tri-color optically variable image of a bridge and the word “Michigan” that appears and disappears when viewed from different angles.
  • The 2D bar code includes the cardholder’s full legal name, date of birth, date of issue, expiration date, address, gender, driver’s license or state ID number, issuing jurisdiction, card design revision date, and an inventory control number.
  • The 1D bar code still has the cardholder’s driver’s license or state ID number, date of birth and expiration date. A two-digit manufacturing number is being added.
  • The magnetic stripe has not changed. It has the driver’s license or state ID number, date of birth and expiration date.
  • The issue date now appears on the front of the of the new cards.
  • The card also features the laser-perforated word “MICH,” which can be viewed when held up to a light.
  • The cardholder’s photo and date of birth are on the back of the card, viewable under black light.

See pictures of the front and back of the new Michigan Drivers License Below.  These images and information came from the Michigan.gov web site and where posted to help merchants and card holders understand the new Michigan Drivers License.

Michigan driver's license 2011

Michigan driver's license

Michigan License Front

Michigan driver's license back

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