New Alberta driver’s licence cards will not only protect against counterfeiting and ID theft, they’ll save the government more than $1 million each year, the province announced Wednesday morning.
The redesigned driver’s licence and ID cards boast security features like clear windows, laser engraving and 3D embossing. In a release, Service Alberta Minister Stephanie McLean said these will make the cards harder to alter or replicate.
“Our government takes identity fraud very seriously. We are the first jurisdiction in North America to integrate this combination of design and security to protect Albertans from ID theft and prevent fraud.
“We are using the latest technology available to safeguard people’s personal information and prevent scams.”
According to the release, the government worked with police agencies to ensure the cards had the “most up-to-date safeguards against fraudsters and identity thieves.”
“The new security measures in the Alberta driver’s licences and identification cards will help ensure the safety and security of the public’s information,” Edmonton Police Service deputy chief Brian Simpson said.
“These security measures will help law enforcement in identifying those individuals who are fraudulently attempting to use this document for illegal purposes.”
LISTEN: Minister Stephanie McLean joins Rob Breakenridge to explain the changes to Alberta’s driver licences
Scroll down to read a full list of the new security features
On top of the security features, the new cards feature scenes from Alberta’s diverse landscape.
Castle Mountain and the Bow River are depicted on the driver’s licence cards and the ID cards show a Wild Rose, Alberta’s provincial flower. Both cards include an image of the Albertosaurus, a dinosaur whose bones were first discovered in Alberta.
Albertans don’t need to worry about going in and replacing their current cards, the government said the current cards will be phased out and replaced through the normal renewal process as cards expire.
The last time Alberta’s cards had a redesign was in 2009.
- Clear window: three complex look-through windows, including one in the shape of Alberta, contain the cardholder’s photo. The use of a complex, asymmetrical window is a first in Canada.
- Rainbow printing: a gradual transition of colour from one part of the card to another makes it difficult to scan and replicate.
- “Ghost” date of birth: the security background is visible through the characters of the birth month and year.
- The card makes a tin-like sound when dropped on a hard surface, unlike credit cards or bank cards.
- Clear laser engraving: you can feel the clear lettering (date of birth and sex) to the left of the photo.
- Raised text: you can feel the raised black text on the date of birth, date of expiry and signature. The data is engraved into the core of the card and difficult to alter or replicate.
- Embossed Alberta shield: can be seen and felt in the lower part of the clear window.
- 3D embossing: you can feel the Albertosaurus image raised above the card surface. It creates a 3D effect – the tail continues on the back of the card and appears to travel through the Alberta-shaped window.