ATLANTA — Gov. Sonny Perdue has announced that Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) is preparing to issue new and improved driver’s licenses and identification cards by fall 2009. The new cards will combat document fraud and protect the identities of Georgia’s citizens by using the latest credentialing technology.
“Everyone knows all we have done to reduce lines and waits at driver’s license centers, but another key priority of the department is safeguarding the identities of Georgia citizens and preventing document fraud,” Gov. Sonny Perdue said. “These new cards will be the most secure our state has ever issued.”
New card production began at the Conyers, Covington and Locust Grove locations in early December. More than three dozen of the 64 centers have launched the new licensing system.
Statewide implementation will continue until all customer service center locations are producing the new cards by January 2010. All previously issued Georgia licenses and IDs will remain valid until the expiration date.
“We are very excited about these innovative changes allowing Georgians to have one of the most secure cards in the nation,” said Gregory C. Dozier, DDS Commissioner. “It is a bright and modern card that our customers will be proud to carry.”
The new documents are designed to be more difficult to counterfeit, alter or replicate. The license will remain roughly the size of a credit card.
The new cards have several security features including ghost photos, a laser-engraved signature over the primary photo to minimize alterations and a tamper resistant coating placed over the card. The cards will feature machine-readable barcodes that can be used by banks, retailers and other businesses to verify the information printed on the front.
Fees will not increase, and customers will continue to choose between a five-year or 10-year license or ID.
A major security feature of the new process is designed to combat underage drinking. Cards issued to those “Under 21” will be printed in a vertical format, aiding retailers and law enforcement in identifying minors.
Another new security practice will be the issuance of an interim driver’s license or ID. Interim documents will be printed on special security paper which is highly sensitive and will discolor after any attempt to alter it. It contains a photo and signature to allow its use for identification purposes. Interim cards will be valid for up to 45 days or until a permanent laminated license or ID is mailed from the central production print facility to the applicant’s mailing address on file with DDS.
The permanent licenses and IDs will be mailed directly to the customer on a mailing carrier that is folded and enclosed in a generic envelope without exposing the actual cards. When the permanent card is received, the interim should be destroyed in accordance with Georgia law and to safeguard personal information. The carrier should be filed by the customer to access later should their license be lost or stolen.
Customer service improvements
The new licensing system includes a new data management system with electronic imaging to scan documents where they may be securely stored and easily accessed later.
Each customer’s personal information becomes a part of the personal driver’s license record. It will remain confidential and is disclosed only as authorized or required by law.
When visiting DDS in person, a more efficient one-window-process provides customers with a “one-stop shopping” experience at most locations eliminating the need to visit multiple windows.
If a transaction cannot be completed once begun, data can be filed and stored until the required information is presented to complete the service.
A customer may visit another location where the stored information may be accessed.
New equipment will be installed including modern computer and photography equipment and printers that will be faster and more reliable.
For more information, visit www.dds.ga.gov.