State-issued driver’s licenses will have a brand-new look in North Carolina starting in June following changes and security enhancements made by the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles. The need for a new design comes as the DMV changes vendors while needing to update the design to better deter and detect fraudulent IDs. 

Because it’s made of 100% polycarbonate, the card will sport a different feel; it will be stiffer and even sound different when dropped onto a surface. The DMV said in a press release the new credentials are the most secure ​credentials in state history and among the most secure identifying documents in the world. 

“The longer a card is out there, the more susceptible it is to fraud,” DMV Communications Manager Marty Homan told the Carolina Journal. Horman said the best practice is to change the card design every five to eight years in an effort to stay ahead of fraudsters. 

The new card will employ laser engraving technology and have both embossed and debossed patterns and lettering on its surface. Key North Carolina attributes will be on the card, including the state’s flower—the dogwood—the state flag, the state border outline, a marbled salamander, and a lighthouse, all at the forefront of rolling hills to the west.

“These design elements are among more than 50 security features used to assist law enforcement in the deterrence and detection of fraud,” the DMV said. “The new card design will be put into production later this week as the current design is being phased out by the end of June.”

In April, the DMV announced plans to increase prices by nearly 20% starting in July, in accordance with a North Carolina law that requires increases every four years based on the Consumer Price Index. The price of an eight-year driver’s license will rise from $44 to $52, while vehicle registration will rise from $38.75 to $46.25.

State legislators continue to work with the DMV to address the ‘broken’ operations at the DMV that have caused major frustrations for North Carolina customers. Complaints date back years, including a lack of available appointments at DMV offices, long wait times, or being forced to return on a different day altogether. In March, the Division officially launched a kiosk pilot program in partnership with Harris Teeter at three grocery stores across the state in an effort to curb long wait times.