Virginia Likes You Better in Black-and-White

New Va. licenses, IDs intended to improve security

By Jim Iovino
|  Monday, Mar 2, 2009  |  Updated 12:09 AM EDT
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New Virginia Driver's Licenses Lack Pizzazz

Black-and-white photos are all the rage in Virginia, if you work at the DMV.

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RICHMOND, Va.  -- Do you like to apply a little rouge and lipstick before getting your new driver's license?  It soon won't matter in Virginia, which apparently thinks color makes you a security threat.

The Department of Motor Vehicles is rolling out a new look for Virginia licenses, and that look includes a lot of black and white.
 

Starting in March, the state will begin issuing new licenses and ID cards with black-and-white photos intended to improve security and blunt counterfeiting.  How does a non-color photo make us more secure?  Good question.
 

While current licenses are made of layers of plastic, the new licenses have no layers to be stripped away and photographs are laser engraved.  Frickin' lasers!   Apparently, however, the lasers don't engrave in color.  We've been to the moon...  to the moon...  sigh.

Anyway, the new licenses have other security features, such as microprinting and a transparent second photograph, which is also black and white and can be see from both the front and the back of the card. 

At least the card itself has some color to it, helping to offset the new card's notion that Virginia is the most boring state in the U.S.

Driver's licenses and ID cards issued prior to implementation of the new format remain valid until expiration, so enjoy the color while it lasts.

And remember, the DMV reserves the right to refuse to issue a driver's license or ID card to any applicant who appears for photographing in a disguise or intentionally distorts their face to alter their appearance.  According to the DMV, a disguise includes, but is not limited to, unusual makeup, paint, wig, sunglasses or false facial hair. Facial distortion includes, but is not limited to, deliberately crossing or squinting eyes, or opening or twisting mouth.

McLovin', we're looking in your direction...

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