LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Louisiana is making some changes to its driver's licenses and ID cards.
It may look the same to the naked eye but the new cards are said to feature greater security, more privacy protection and more resistant to tampering.
The state says the new cards will have multiple layers of security that are all lined to each other. Some of the noticeable ones include tri-color overlay, multi-colored fine line printing and the photo on the card will also have a "ghost" image.
"Driver's licenses is generally considered to be the national standard in terms of photo identification," said state police Sergeant. James Anderson. "This is an effort on the part of Louisiana to ensure that ours is as difficult to counterfeit as possible."
The licenses are not connected to the much talked about federal Real ID Act of 2005 that sets new standards for state driver's licenses and IDs.
Anderson says the new licenses will be available to drivers soon.
"If you are eligible for a new driver's license, you'll be receiving one of these new ones as soon as it's rolled out through a local office of motor vehicles office," said Anderson. "If you have the current driver's license, it's fine. You don't need to do anything until it's time to renew that driver's license."
Louisiana last updated the identification cards in 2001.
"We are always looking for ways to better protect Louisiana citizens from fraud and identity theft," said Colonel Mike Edmonson, Department of Public Safety Deputy Secretary. "Enhancing the security features of a Louisiana driver license and identification card reduces the possibility of criminals being able to counterfeit these documents that have become the national standard for identification."
OMV Commissioner Stephen Campbell stated, "We expect for all offices to have the new system in place by the end of May 2014. If you obtain a credential at an office that has not been converted to the new system, your license or ID is still valid."
It should take a minimum of four years to phase out the old design.