Wisconsin rolls out polycarbonate, laser engraved ID
With a REAL ID deadline coming at the end of the year many states are rolling out new driver licenses and making overall efforts to improve the security of the document and the processes.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Division of Motor Vehicles started issuing new driver licenses and identification cards this fall. These new IDs are a polycarbonate card with a laser-engraved black and white photo.
In addition to the black and white laser-engraved photo, Wisconsin customers will note these added security features:
- The card feels slightly stiffer and makes a unique sound when dropped on a hard surface
- A raised signature, date of birth, expiration date, driver license/ID number, “Under 21 until” date can easily be felt and hard to copy
- UV ink highlights intricate Wisconsin artwork on front
- The “Under 21” is prominently displayed in red ink and printed in a vertical format.
- Endorsements for commercial driving, including hazmat certification, are clearly noted.
The past three years have seen states make more changes to their IDs, says Kathleen Synstegaard, regional sales director at Entrust Datacard. “States are becoming more educated and the cost of secure documents has declined,” she explains. “Secure documents are becoming more competitive price wise with driver licenses.”
Entrust Datacard’s driver license projects span a range of delivery models, processes, and environments working with 25 jurisdictions in a number of ways. These projects enabled the company to learn from the base of projects and offer insights to customers and partners for identifying considerations and market drivers. For example, the company offers a variety of card security and durability features, including laser engraving, color-printing technologies, and custom laminates that feature tamper evidence.
One of the bigger developments has been states moving to polycarbonate, laser engraved card materials, like that being issued in Wisconsin. Colorado, Washington DC and several jurisdictions in Canada are using polycarbonate. Other states use PVC or a composite card of polyester, PVC and Teslin.
The use of polycarbonate and laser engraving also has states outsourcing productions of these cards to a central facility run by a third party, Synstegaard says. All the necessary data is sent to the third-party facility, cards produced and then mailed out. The card printer then deletes all the personal data.
A third party is necessary because the laser engraving card printers are expensive and it proved cost prohibitive to purchase the necessary equipment to run the card personalization systems, Synstegaard explains.