Notary Bulletin

New Michigan Driver's Licenses And ID Cards Benefit Notaries

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has announced that the state’s new driver’s licenses and identification cards will now feature enhanced security features, making them much more difficult to fake or alter, and easier for Notaries to rely on them as satisfactory evidence of identity.

“The new licenses have the latest safeguards available to protect their integrity, further ensuring cardholders are who they say they are,” Johnson said in a statement last month.

This enhancement is part of the nationwide effort — driven by the REAL ID Act of 2005 — to make identification documents more secure. The REAL ID Act established a set of standards that every state must incorporate to make IDs more secure. The deadline for implementing them has been pushed back on numerous occasions, and the latest delay giving states until January 15, 2013, to adopt the standards.

The basic look of Michigan’s new license and ID card includes an intricate line pattern and outline of the state of Michigan with the Great Lakes. The IDs also include a number of other security features:

  • The state's Great Seal on the front viewable under black light
  • A tricolor image of a bridge on the front that appears and disappears when viewed from different angles
  • A new two-dimensional bar code on the back with encoded information available for law enforcement use, in addition to the existing magnetic stripe and one-dimensional bar code
  • Cardholder's photo and date of birth also on the back viewable under black light
  • Laser-perforated word “MICH” on it

The new cards will be issued as cardholders renew or apply for new ones.

Additional Resources

Department of Homeland Security

REAL ID Final Rule

National Conference of State Legislatures

Countdown To REAL ID Act

Professional Sections

NSA and Small Business
Healthcare Professionals
Legal Professionals
Financial and Corporate Services

Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

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