March 23, 2011

Maine licenses getting new look, features

By Rebekah Metzler
MaineToday Media State House Writer

AUGUSTA — Maine has a new design for driver's licenses and state identification cards that includes updated security features to protect against fraud and a picture of a moose and Mount Katahdin.

Charlie Summers, Maine Drivers License
click image to enlarge

Secretary of State Charlie Summers points to a poster of the new Maine driver’s license design, featuring updated security enhancements, at a news conference Tuesday. There also are vertical formats for cardholders below the age of 21.

The Associated Press

click image to enlarge

A sample of the new Maine driver's license.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

The state will begin distributing the new licenses and ID cards next week, Secretary of State Charlie Summers said Tuesday. The new licenses will first be issued in the Augusta area, followed by the Portland area and then the rest of the state by June, he said.

Licenses and ID cards issued to people under age 21 will have information and photos displayed vertically, rather than the traditional horizontal layout. They'll also spell out in red text the dates that the holders turn 18 and 21. Names and driver's license numbers will be printed in larger type, and holders will have the option of having their address printed on the back.

Summers declined to go into detail about the new security features, but said it would be harder to duplicate the IDs or use them for identity theft purposes.

Current driver's licenses will remain valid until they expire, but drivers who want to get a new version early can do so for a $5 fee.

The new design was selected by former Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, who signed the latest contract for license and ID card production in 2009, when the previous contract expired. The new contract lasts until 2017.

MaineToday Media State House Writer Rebekah Metzler can be contacted at 620-7016 or at:

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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