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Underage California Drivers Will Now Get a Vertical License

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The Department of Motor Vehicles announced big changes today, but it's not about making your visit to their offices any smoother. The news should, however, make licenses harder to counterfeit and forge, thus more secure, and help businesses easily I.D. those who cannot drink alcohol.

The new licenses and state IDs debuted earlier this week with changes that include a vertical layout for people under 21 years old, images that can only be seen under ultraviolet lights and a 2D bar code on the back that acts like the current magnetic stripe on cards (when swiped, it should read the information from the front of the card).

"The new security features, coupled with advanced technology, make California driver licenses and identification cards one of the most secure identification documents in the country," said DMV Director George Valverde. "We are confident that they will be well-received by residents, businesses and law enforcement officials."

The DMV emphasized that cardholders do not need to worry and replace their license or ID. Just wait until it's time renew, officials said.

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Additional features include the cardholder's date of birth and signature that can be felt by touch and a laser perforation outline of the California Brown Bear, which can be seen from the front of the card when a flashlight is pressed against the back of the card.