Friday, October 8, 2010

California's driver's licenses getting a new look

Long a favorite target for fraud by underage drinkers and illegal immigrants, the California driver's license is getting a high-tech face-lift. The card unveiled Wednesday gains a range of advanced security features, from laser-engraved signatures printed in raised lettering to photos that can be seen only under ultraviolet light - all part of an effort to thwart increasingly sophisticated counterfeiters.

"The new security features, coupled with advanced technology, make California driver licenses and identification cards one of the most secure identification documents in the country," Department of Motor Vehicles director George Valverde said in a statement. Still, some experts remain unconvinced that the new license will stymie every counterfeiter.

Given the lucrative nature of the black market and the high demand for California licenses, someone will eventually figure out a way to duplicate even the most sophisticated features, according to one security expert. "Anything that's designed by man can be duplicated by man - it'll just cost more and take more time to do," said San Fernando Valley-based private detective John Grogan. "I guarantee there will be good-looking copies within weeks.These measures, though, will make it impossible for people who want to do it themselves." Possibly the most dramatic feature of the new license is that cards for drivers under 21 will be designed with a vertical layout making it easier for bars, nightclubs and police to see that the person is underage.



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I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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