Durability and security in driver licenses is more important than ever before
When you search online for “fake driver’s license,” over 885,000 results appear with links to buy, instructions to make, and tips on how to get away with it. The news feed is inundated with stories of people losing their identities and life’s savings, immigrants utilizing near-perfect false identification, and minors accessing all the things they shouldn’t.
But the creation of these fake IDs extends beyond just amateur Photoshopping in someone’s basement. From October 2013 to September 2014 alone, the International Mail Branch at Kennedy International Airport seized 4,585 Chinese-made counterfeit IDs hidden in jewelry boxes, tea sets and school supplies.
Most of these IDs were shipped to college campuses where underage drinkers were desperately waiting for the ability to get into the bar on Friday night. But while fake IDs for underage drinking are a serious issue, the reality is these counterfeit IDs can be used for much more nefarious activities such as identity theft. Forged documents for identification purposes have become sophisticated enough to fool law enforcement and scanning devices. The effects of counterfeit driver’s licenses or identity documents has a staggering effect of 13.1 million identities stolen just in 2013.
So when fake licenses get smarter, technological innovation must rise to the occasion. Polycarbonate driver’s licenses made their debut in 2003 presenting tamper-proof features and black-and-white laser-engraved photos. But despite the high level of security, states and provinces have been unable to make the switch due to laws that require a color photo, a feature which was previously unavailable. Luckily, that problem is has been solved.
Marquis ID Solutions, a Gemalto company, recently announced their Sealys Color in Polycarbonate solution, uniting the benefits of laser-personalized polycarbonate driver licenses and ID cards with the detail and richness of color photography.
The high resolution color adds an extra layer of security by more accurately presenting facial features and skin tones, while still looking like the old licenses states have become attached to. And polycarbonate has been shown to resist the most extreme thermal, mechanical or usage tests. So no more standing in line at the DMV because your license broke in half or it melted in the dryer.
While your license may seem like a pretty basic piece of plastic, they are deceptively simple and hold a lot of power. Yes, you need one to get into a bar. But you also need one to get on a plane, to buy a gun, to get a job, or to prove your identity. If and when someone with a fake and illegal license takes advantage of all of those opportunities, they pose as serious threats. Jurisdictions continue to prioritize the well-being of their people, and MIDS’ strives to offer innovative solutions like color polycarbonate in order to accomplish the important mission of protecting the identity of our citizen’s and the security of our nation.