September 2015 – Two years ago, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) released a newly designed driver’s license and state identification (ID) card that contained many elements aimed at improving security, privacy, and resistance to tampering, identity theft, and duplication. In August of 2015, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an initiative aimed at illuminating those numerous features, especially for bar owners, security, and staff of liquor-licensed establishments. The education initiative’s major deliverable is an electronic brochure that clearly identifies the enhanced security features of the state’s driver’s licenses and ID cards, including:

  • Polycarbonate material which sounds metallic when dropped on a hard surface
  • Laser-engraved photo burned onto the card’s fine-line graphic background
  • Raised engraved text in the ID number, date of birth, date of expiration, and signature fields
  • Rainbow printing and anti-copy ink that are difficult to reproduce on a color copier or photo printer
  • A secondary photo, laser engraved into a clear window with beveled edges in the lower, right hand corner
  • A “wave” of text containing the cardholder’s name, with variable text size that continues through the clear secondary window
  • Matte finish for the signature and address change boxes on the back of the card
  • Detailed graphics over the front of the card visible under UV light, including a map of New York state, starbursts, and fine line graphics
  • Vertically-oriented card for those under 21

NY DMV SLA Brochure on Drivers License Features

Download the brochure pdf here.

No New York citizen is obligated to obtain the newly designed driver’s license or ID card until their current card expires. The DMV estimates that about half of the cards in circulation today are of the new design.

The brochure is the result of the joint efforts between the DMV and the State Liquor Authority, and the education initiative should provide businesses serving alcohol with the information necessary to authenticate new licenses, IDs, and permits. The security features on the newly designed licenses should make spotting altered or forged cards easier. Vincent Bradley, State Liquor Authority Chairman said, “Educating [liquor] licensees on these new security features will increase compliance and assist in our continuing efforts to prevent young New Yorkers from buying and abusing alcohol.”

Licensees charged with underage alcohol sales face civil fines between $2,500 and $10,000, and repeat offenders may face suspension or revocation of their liquor license. Additionally, individuals who sell alcohol to minors can be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor. In 2014, the State Liquor Authority prosecuted over 2,000 sales to minor violations.

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