DMV issues new design for Virginia driver’s license, ID cards

The DMV is debuting a new design for Virginia driver’s licenses and ID cards for the first time since 2009.
Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 6:03 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The DMV is debuting a new design for Virginia driver’s licenses and ID cards for the first time since 2009.

The DMV’s new design features inside the state capitol, the state’s official insect, the tiger swallowtail butterfly, and the state’s flower, the American dogwood.

Some features remain the same as the cards issued about fifteen years ago.

Banner colors are distinct for rapid recognition.

The driver’s license banner is blue, and the ID card banner is green. Driver’s licenses and ID cards for adults are still horizontal, and cards issued to those under 21 are vertical for easy identification.

DMV spokesperson Jessica Cowardin says these features also enhance security measures to help prevent identity theft and counterfeiting.

“We just want to stay ahead of bad actors. We know they exist across the nation,” Cowardin said.

The Identity Theft Resource Center CEO James Lee says they have seen a particular trend in recent months.

Lee says culprits are stealing people’s IDs and are using them when pulled over during a traffic stop.

“Driver’s license information has become like gold to identity thieves. They will buy or steal information on a driver’s license, and then they’ll go and create a very realistic fake driver’s license that can pass law enforcement and TSA,” Lee said.

Lee says that identity theft has become more common since the pandemic as many people spend more time online.

He says people should be more careful.

“We never really heard about driver’s license being used this way or driver’s license information being compromised until the last year, and it’s just steadily increased as the years progressed,” Lee said.

Lee says most people aren’t aware their ID cards have been stolen until after culprits make a transaction or use their personal information.

If your driver’s license or ID was stolen, Lee says you should contact the DMV immediately to report it. He also recommends freezing your credit and using different passwords for important accounts.

Cowardin says those applying for a new license or ID card, REAL ID, or a renewal or replacement will receive the new design. Cards featuring the prior design will remain valid until the expiration date.

She says fees will vary depending on the requested service.