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PennDOT to replace drivers licenses issued since November without proper security features |

PennDOT to replace drivers licenses issued since November without proper security features

More than 100,000 Pennsylvanians could be carrying driver’s licenses with faulty security features because of vendor error, PennDOT officials said Thursday.

“PennDOT learned (Wednesday) that laminate supplied by vendors for driver’s licenses did not have the proper security image on the front of the license. The (faulty) image is not visible without use of a black light device,” Deputy PennDOT Secretary Kurt J. Myers said.

The proper laminate was available Thursday morning at all driver’s license and photo centers, Myers said.

PennDOT began issuing the bad licenses in November. Spokesman Rich Kirkpatrick said that if the holder tries to use it to gain admittance to a venue that is checking IDs with a black light, instead of showing keystones with “PA,” the defective cards will show “AP.”

PennDOT will mail replacement licenses to affected drivers at no cost. Kirkpatrick said the agency has not calculated the total cost of the error, but the vendors will be footing the bill. PennDOT identified them as MorphoTrust USA and its subcontractor OpSec.

MorphoTrust did not comment, and OpSec could not be reached.

“It appears to be a manufacturing error,” Kirkpatrick said. “This is the first time we have seen this particular problem, and we will be reviewing our procedures to ensure it is not repeated.”

When affected drivers receive their new licenses, they should destroy the old one, PennDOT said.

“Because of the flawed security feature, the original license may not be accepted as proof of identification when scanned by black light devices,” Myers said. “This issue should not impact security checks by the Transportation Security Administration at airports since TSA references a different security feature on the license or identification card in its verification process.”

PennDOT is still determining the exact number of affected licenses.

Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 or

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