HAZARD — The Perry Circuit Clerk’s Office recently rolled out the state’s new driver’s license to local residents, and officials say the new version is more secure and harder to forge.
The identification card system in Kentucky had not changed in the previous 10 years, but after a decade the state has made some new changes to the security features of the cards as well as the capabilities of the equipment making them.
Tina Lewis, a deputy in the circuit clerk’s office in Hazard, is in charge of driver’s licenses. She received training on the new system Sept. 19, and since then has given out about 120 of the new licenses here in Perry County.
The license includes a new pattern on the background that closely resembles the cross hatching on the dollar bill. Along with this change, the license has become darker and added a secondary photo in the corner.
“The old system was 10 years old and obsolete,” explained Lewis. “The old system was just so old they couldn’t keep repairing it. It was worn out.”
As a part of the new system, officials also made improvements to the photos on the license with a new camera that can accept or reject photos based on eyes being open, head being straight, or moving. The camera intelligently takes the photos with little intervention from the person creating the license.
The system also now scans the paperwork and takes the signature from the license renewal or new license forms for use on the card itself. The backdrop for the Kentucky license has also changed to a turquoise color from the neutral blue. The change in background color is part of the new security features.
Lewis said that in the past people could take Polaroid photos and cut them up and iron them on to the license to create fake ids. With the added features such as the lines embedded in the card and holographs, this is no longer possible.
Additionally, the new license also includes a feature for veterans. As a part of the regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly, legislators voted to add a veteran’s designation on to the license to keep veterans from having to carry both their license and a veteran’s identification.