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Development & Transportation

PennDot to Mail New Licenses After Finding Security Flaw


Some Pennsylvanians will be receiving new driver’s licenses after PennDOT officials learned Wednesday a vendor error led to security flaws in more than 100,000 cards.

According to PennDOT, the laminate supplied by Morpho Trust USA and its subcontractor OpSec, did not include the correct hidden security image. Viewed under an ultraviolet black light, proper licenses show a row of keystones with the letters “PA.” The defective cards read “AP” instead.

“This affects only a very small number of people that may try to use it again to get into some special place that is having added security and looking closely with black lights to make sure that people who are showing the driver’s license, in fact, have a valid credential,” PennDOT spokesman Rich Kirkpatrick said.

He also said the faulty feature does not affect the validity of the licenses.

“You can keep driving, you can keep using it when you’re at a store to show identification, to cash a check and whatnot,” Kirpatrick said. “It’s only a very limited use that this would come into play.”

According to Kurt Myers, PennDOT’s deputy secretary for driver and vehicle services, the faulty licenses should not impact airport security checks “since TSA references a different security feature on the license or identification card in its verification process.”

Kirkpatrick said all laminates have been replaced in PennDOT’s photo ID centers.

“We have assured that the stock in place now is the proper stock and there’s no questions about what is going out the door now,” he said.

PennDOT will start mailing free replacements to affected drivers in about two or three weeks.

Kirkpatrick didn’t say how much the error will cost, but Morpho Trust and OpSec will be picking up the bill.

The exact number of faulty licenses is still unknown.