New License for New York Drivers in an Attempt to Stop Fake IDs

College campuses are no stranger to fake IDs, and beginning this summer the state of New York will be making it much more difficult to create a fake New York driver’s license. They are going back to the basics with the new look: the photos on the licenses will be in black and white, whereas before they were color. The material is changing as well and will now be a hard polycarbonate card instead of the bendable card that it is now.

Authorities are hoping that this new design will decrease the number of New York fake IDs being produced. They believe that the use of the black and white images makes it much more difficult to replicate, in addition to other new features of the ID. The new license will be engraved on the card instead of simply being printed as they were before. The process of engraving the images and information has multiple steps which result in a final product that is “a solid, monolithic structure that cannot be separated into layers and tampered with,” according to the State Department of Motor Vehicles. There is also a “ghost image” on the new license that will “float in a transparent window and will be visible from the front and the back.”

The new design sparks hope for those trying to fight the illegal market of counterfeit IDs that provides licenses to underage drinkers, as New York fake IDs are said to be the most popular among states. Virginia adopted the greyscale design in 2009 and has yet to see a credible forgery of that license. Pam Goheen, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles said that any attempt at recreating the license has failed miserably.

In 2012, the Department of Motor Vehicles collected 1,450 counterfeit drivers’ licenses trying to be used for underage drinking. And that’s just one group of 100 investigators.  North Carolina is expected to follow the footsteps of Virginia and New York in the end of 2014 with their own polycarbonate, black and white IDs, and Maryland is considering a similar design as well.