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Nebraska DMV unveils new design for state driver’s license, ID cards

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 11:54 AM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Driver’s licenses or ID cards in the state of Nebraska will have a new look to them.

Wednesday morning, the Nebraska DMV unveiled the new design for the documents. This is the first significant updated design since 2009.

According to leaders with the state DMV, the new design represents the elements that make Nebraska unique. The Courthouse and Jail Rocks are displayed on the front near the top, the Lincoln skyline is on the front at the bottom, and sandhill cranes are displayed on the back of the card.

“Eastern, western and central Nebraska are all represented, as are urban and rural areas, and the natural and manmade landmarks in the state,” said Rhonda Lahm, the director of the Nebraska DMV.

The card laminate also features a windmill and haybales to represent the agricultural roots of the state. The layout will also be easier to read, which Lahm says benefits customers, businesses and the law enforcement community.

The design elements were chosen for aesthetics, but more importantly because they can integrate required security features

“About ever 10-15 years we see people attempting to counterfeit, and the counterfeits get more close to the real document so as we see that starting to happen that tells us we need to change security features and upgrade them to make the counterfeiting difficult and prevent the fraud and secure people’s identity,” Lahm said.

Some of the new security features that the DMV can speak of include tactile elements, like a dotted, raised ear of corn, and a tamper resistant coating on the cards.

Lahm says the process of creating, and now introducing the new design, has been some time in the making, and they’re ready and excited to roll them out starting May 21.

“While this is what the public sees, there are a lot of changes that have to happen to our computer systems on the back end, our vendors computers on the back end, and a lot of hours of testing and retesting so that it deploys and it does so correctly, everything is printed correctly, and all the security features are printed there on the document,” said Lahm.

The new licenses and IDs are also REAL ID compliant.

REAL ID outlines security standards set forth by the federal government. Beginning May 3, 2023 a REAL ID compliant document will be required to fly on a plane and enter federal properties like federal courthouses and military bases. The current design of licenses and IDs in the state are REAL ID compliant, too.

While the switchover to the new design will begin shortly, leaders with the Nebraska DMV says the old design will remain valid until the expiration date on the document which is usually 5 years after its issued.

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