A new generation of Texas driver's licenses are rolling off the machines in Austin, but there's more to them than just a cosmetic upgrade.
The latest driver's license makeover is less about the upgraded look and more about keeping your identity safe. As a bouncer in Amarillo, Todd Walker has seen his fair share of fake IDs. "I've seen as many as 15 in one night."
He's only seen a few of the new licenses so far, but he can already tell the new look will make spotting those fakes even easier. "The new design appears to have several features that will make it harder to copy." And that's exactly what they're designed to do. DPS Trooper Gabriel Medrano says, "The most current technology as far as security features go in the world. We even had some DPS officers go to England and look at some of their driver's license security features they have."
DPS can't release specifics on new hidden details for security reasons, but law enforcement says what your un-trained eye cannot see is keeping you safer from identity thieves. APD Sgt. Brent Barbee says, "Identities are stolen and used on fake IDs or parts of their identity, and that will result in a warrant being issued for someone who didn't do anything." Which means an innocent person could pay a very big price. "Even worse than somebody having to pay for a traffic ticket. It's somebody could wind up in jail."
TABC says the new features will make their jobs easier as well. Hank Blanchard says, "Gonna cut down on the number of offenses and it's gonna make it a lot harder for underage people to obtain alcohol illegally."