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Will N.C. ever get an enhanced driver’s license?

Patrick Gannon

Marge Howell, a spokeswoman for the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles, said there are no plans for North Carolina to go to an “enhanced” license that can be used as a passport at border states.

But sometime in 2012, the division will begin issuing new driver licenses and ID cards that are more difficult to tamper with, she said.

The new licenses will include black-and-white photographs taken by cameras with multiple lenses. The resulting “3-D” image will be laser-engraved onto the license, providing a clearly identifiable image, according to a 2010 news release from the DMV.

The new cards also will be made of a more durable material than the current licenses. Multiple layers will be fused together and cannot be removed without leaving evidence of tampering. The new cards will meet state and federal mandates, as well as national security requirements, the DMV said in 2010.

The N.C. Department of Transportation has awarded a $47.5 million contract to MorphoTrak-Safran Group over the next seven years. The contract may be extended for two additional one-year periods.

N.C. DMV will pay $2.12 each for the new cards. During the past two years, DMV has issued approximately 2.4 million driver licenses and ID cards per year.

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Tammy Miller

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