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New Indiana driver’s license design stumps residents, police

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) — If you’ve applied for an Indiana driver’s license in the last month or so, you might get something in the mail that looks radically different than what you’re used to.

“We were kind of taken by surprise, actually. We didn’t get any notice that things were changing,” Fort Wayne Police spokeswoman Officer Sofia Rosales-Scatena says.

That seems to be the universal reaction to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ new design for driver’s licenses that are said to incorporate the strongest security features available.

While they’ve been issued online since May, no one we talked to was aware of the changes, including police officers who were checking IDs at Germanfest last weekend when a man approached them.

“The man didn’t even know he was getting a new license, too. He was looking for the traditional license and he got this one and he was like, this is fake. And so he brought it to us to check, and we looked at it and were like, I don’t know what this is, either! So had to get on the radio and find out through dispatch,” she says.

The black and white licenses are indeed real, and are laser engraved so they’ll have a tactile feel.

“Well, looks better than my color, frankly. Yeah, I mean this looks good. This guy came out looking pretty good, so that’d be fine. Okay with you? Okay with me,” Dan Marku tells us.

“What do you think? I don’t really like that. I like color. It looks fake. I mean, with these IDs they’re getting now, they should just keep them the same way, that way it’d be less problems. But it’s a pretty background,” Earl Lurks says.

The new design incorporates images of the statehouse and an Indy race car or a cardinal.

The new licenses do not affect the state’s REAL IDs, which requires you to provide extra documents proving your identity and address, and adds a star in the upper right corner of your license.

You must have a REAL ID by October first of next year to board a plane or enter a federal facility.

The new black and white driver’s licenses are expected to be issued statewide by the middle of July, and any license you have will be valid until it expires.

Leaders at the BMV are expected to announce more details about the new driver’s license at an event in Indianapolis on Monday.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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