ITD introduces central issue driver's licenses Monday;
Payette, Ada counties serve as pilot sites

Idaho driver's licenses and identification (ID) cards will have a new look, beginning Monday in select southwest Idaho locations. The new licenses and ID cards will have state-of-the-art security features and be issued through a new process.

The Payette County Driver's License office in Payette will pilot the new system beginning Monday (May 16). Based on results there, a second pilot is scheduled to begin May 23 at the Ada County Driver's License Office on Benjamin Lane in Boise.

By summer, the new licenses and ID cards are expected to be available at all other 51 county offices statewide.

"The central issuance system is an established, secure process," says Alan Frew, administrator of ITD"s Division of Motor Vehicles. "This proven technology has been shown to improve the security of the license, the data behind it and the security of local DMV offices."

The cards will help protect against identity theft and fraud, with no additional cost to customers. The updated system will incorporate security features that, together, are nearly impossible to counterfeit. The switch also means cards will be issued from a central, secure location instead of at county licensing offices.

Idaho’s neighboring states (Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Oregon and Washington) are among those that issue driver’s licenses and ID cards from a central location.

"With this new process, one thing people can expect is they will not actually leave the county licensing office with a plastic card anymore," explains Susan Romero, Ada County Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) driver's license supervisor.

Instead, applicants will leave the county licensing office with a temporary paper document that will be valid for 30 days. The new plastic license or ID card will be produced at a central production facility and mailed to the customer within about 10 business days. Because it is mailed, it will be critical for applicants to provide a correct address.

The temporary card will be issued for driving and identity purposes until the new plastic card arrives by mail. It includes a photo, the same information that appears on the plastic card (such as name, address, date of birth, height and weight), and a machine readable bar code containing that information.

Existing Idaho licenses or ID cards remain valid through their expiration date; however, individuals can opt to renew a license or ID card within one year of the expiration date. Individuals with valid licenses or ID cards that are not within the one-year renewal window have the option of surrendering their card and applying for a duplicate. Standard duplicate fees will apply ($15 for driver licenses, $10 or $20 for ID cards).

All other license and ID card application processes will remain essentially unchanged. Fees for all driver's licenses and ID cards also will remain the same.

The new cards incorporate security features such as micro-printing, ghost images and a laser-perforated pattern that reveals the shape of Idaho when held to the light. Not all security features of the new cards will be evident. The enhanced security features make it obvious if someone tampers with a card.

For more information, visit or contact ITD's Driver Services office at (208) 334-8000.

Published 5-13-2011