Maryland’s New Driver’s Licenses Sure Are Colorful

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Remember when driver’s licenses used to just be a flimsy, laminated piece of plastic? 

As hoaxers and criminals get more sophisticated at making fake IDs, states are having to scramble to make their ID cards harder to forge: hence the holograms, embossed text, and other anti-fraud devices that have been increasingly showing up on official identification cards nationwide.

Yesterday, Maryland revealed its newest driver’s license design, one that comes chock full of “cutting-edge security features” including:

  • A durable, tamper-resistant polycarbonate card body
  • Laser engraving (which makes things harder for forgers)
  • Changeable laser image (which allows two or more images to occupy the same area)
  • Tactile text (again, hard to forge)
  • Inventory control number (which links the card back to who it was originally issued to).

The cards are also quite… colorful, featuring a pastel version of the Maryland flag overlaid with an icon of a crab or a bird that I’m assuming is supposed to represent an oriole. (Sorry, Ravens — after last year, I guess you don’t deserve a spot on the official state ID.) After July 11 of this year, everyone issued a new ID will get one of these fancy new versions.