Arkansas is changing the design and features on state driver’s licenses and identification cards. The Department of Finance and Administration announced Tuesday that the redesigned cards will be available at certain revenue offices starting next month.
The IDs feature imagery of diamonds and the state Capital’s golden doors. The changes are not just cosmetic. The cards also make use of new security features such as a ghost image to denote legitimate IDs.
"It makes it nearly impossible to duplicate this license," said Scott Hardin, communications director for the department. "It is hopefully going to stop any attempts at fraud."
Efforts to prevent Arkansas ID fraud have been stepped up over the years. Lt. Cody Burk with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office says officers don't encounter fake state IDs very often anymore.
"It’s not normally a state ID that’s fake, it’s some foreign ID or usually some other organization. The ones from the state have multiple safety procedures. You can tell from different background seals and holograms that it’s actually a state license."
Despite the infrequency of the issue, Burk said increasing security features will be helpful.
"The procedure we have now is pretty good, so anything they do to tighten it up would be good," Burk said.
The update to state IDs is part of a regular change, giving the Department of Finance and Administration an opportunity to implement features that will be useful for years to come.
"If you look over the last few decades, really since the '70s, we’ve gone through about five [designs] total," said Hardin. "This is really just the next step. It gives us the opportunity to improve it cosmetically, but also from a security standpoint."
The Little Rock Central Revenue office will be the first to have the new identification cards on July 9. In the following weeks they'll be offered at other offices, and all should have them by August 28.
Though existing cards will be valid until the listed expiration date, citizens can obtain one of the new cards for a $10 fee.