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Az introduces 'secure' driver's license, application process

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Az introduces 'secure' driver's license, application process

  • screenshot/ADOT

A redesigned Arizona driver's license, and a new process to get it, went into effect Monday. The changes are meant to improve security, officials said.

The new license has a background containing several security features intended to prevent identity theft, according to an Arizona Department of Transportation news release.

"Our top priority is always customer safety and security," said Stacey Stanton, director of ADOT's Motor Vehicle Division. "The new and improved security features better safeguard personal information."

New security features include:

  • A larger portrait photo with a "ghost" image to ensure the customer's image is clearly reflected.
  • A counterfeit-resistant background containing intricate, repetitive, interwoven patterns.
  • A laser perforation in the shape of Arizona, which can be held up to the light for quick authentication.
  • A raised date-of-birth field to help with authentication using sense of touch.
  • A tri-color Optically Variable Device consisting of the state outline, the state name, the state seal, a saguaro cactus and a star. This iridescent image displays optical effects like color change and movement, which makes it impossible to photocopy or reproduce.
  • An illustration of a Ringtail, the state mammal, on the front of the license.

As part of the new process, customers will be issued a temporary license at their local MVD office. The permanent or duplicate license will be mailed to the address on the customer's application within 15 days.

"The updated issuance process has added steps for ensuring the license or identification card is delivered to the right person and helps prevent identity theft," Stanton said.

MVD will be phasing the new license in over the next 12 years. If your license is current, you do not need to replace it with the new version immediately. It will be valid until it's expiration date—or at least until the 12-year mark when the photo needs to be retaken, the news release said.

The new process does make it critical to keep your address current with MVD, the release said.

State law requires that residents notify the Motor Vehicle Division of an address change within 10 days, although the purchase of a new license isn't required. Address changes can be made online at

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