DMV preparing for switch to central issue driver's licenses
— Early summer launch scheduled in Payette, Ada counties —

ITD’s Division of Motor Vehicles staff is making final preparations in the transition to a new system for issuing driver’s licenses and identification (ID) cards. Known as “central issuance,” the updated system will issue cards from a central, secure location instead of over-the-counter.

The licenses and cards will have a new look and state-of-the-art security features, all designed to avert counterfeiting and reduce the risk of identity theft and fraud.

Two county licensing offices will be pilot locations – the Payette County office in Payette beginning in mid-May; and the Ada County office in Boise in late May. By summer, the new licenses and ID cards will be available statewide at all county offices.

“Central issuance essentially affects the way driver’s licenses and ID cards are produced, while vastly improving security,” says Alan Frew, DMV administrator. “You probably won’t notice much else changing when you go to the DMV office. The rest of the process remains basically the same.”

Frew said there are several key things people need to know, including:

  • Current licenses and ID cards remain valid until the listed expiration date.
  • Under central issuance, you will leave the county office with a temporary card (below) printed on special security paper. The temporary document is issued for driving and identity purposes and remains valid for 30 days.
  • The new license or ID card (above) will be mailed within about 10 business days. The card is mailed in an unmarked envelope, much the same way a credit card or passport is mailed.
  • The temporary card includes a photo, all the information that appears on the plastic card (name, address, date of birth, height, weight, etc.), and a machine-readable bar code containing that information.
  • The new cards incorporate numerous security features, including micro-printing, ghost images and a laser-perforated pattern that reveals the shape of Idaho when held to the light. Not all security features are evident, and the enhanced security features make it obvious when a card has been tampered with.
  • The new cards are made from a more durable plastic than was previously available. And, the format and production process follows recommended best practices.

In addition to security benefits, the change also translates into system efficiencies and cost savings compared to issuing cards over-the-counter, Frew said. There is no additional cost to customers. For more information, visit the central issue website.

Published 4-22-2011