Transportation
5:41 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

State IDs Get New Hologram

Pennsylvania's driver's license and identification cards just became more difficult to counterfeit.

PennDOT has added a new hologram feature to any newly-produced license that should make counterfeits even more apparent than before. PennDOT spokeswoman Jan McKnight explained the new addition.

"It's a state-of-the-art hologram that suppresses the rainbow of normal color spectrum, so that the result is a sharp black and white image," McKnight said. "What's really unique is that the image reverses itself. When you rotate the card 90 degrees, it changes from white on black to black on white."

McKnight said that it's important for identification cards to do two things: to protect one's identity, and to prevent underage citizens from obtaining alcohol or tobacco. She said that any new addition to the license to enhance its quality and recognition as authentic is good for security.

McKnight said that the state's identification cards are at the forefront of secure identification technologies.

"We were proactive in saying, 'What else can we do?'" McKnight said. "Counterfeit licenses are a huge problem, and the fakes are so very good. This is one addition to keep us ahead of that curve."

The new hologram, in the shape of a keystone with the letters 'PA' inside, will be included on all new licenses, but Pennsylvania residents are not required to get a new license until their current one expires. McKnight, however, did say that people can apply for license replacement, change, or correction online at any time.