The next time you renew your driver's license in New York State, it will look like a drab, dreary shadow of its former self, just like licenses look down Virginia way. Starting next month, the DMV will be rolling out the new licenses to new drivers and motorists at branch offices. In addition to being depressing, the new licenses are considered to be "tamper proof," according to the Staten Island Advance, which adds:
The new New York driver's licenses are made of rigid polycarbonate and feature laser-engraved black-and-white photos... Everything about the new driver's license is different from the style New Yorkers have grown accustomed to for decades, and it's all done to prevent tampering.
"There are 30 different security features built into the new documents," said Associate DMV Commissioner Jackie McGinnis, the most apparent being the black-and-white photo laser-engraved onto the stiff polycarbonate card. A clear window on the card features a second laser-engraved photo of the driver, which can be seen from both the card's front side and its reverse side.
In a new twist, drivers under 21-years-old will receive a vertical license, intended to help bouncers and liquor stores immediately realize that the individual isn't old enough to buy a keg of beer, no matter freaky red their eyes get. The new designs, which are currently only used in one other state—Virginia—are also supposedly more difficult to "chalk." The laser engraving process "gives the photo a 'grayscale' appearance and offers superior resolution and tonal depth for photo comparison purposes," McGinnis told the Advance.
At press time, it's a gloomy Monday and we're hugging our doomed full-color licenses a little tighter.