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Saratoga County

NYS driver’s licenses to be printed in black and white

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Albany/HV: NYS driver’s licenses to be printed in black and white
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New York driver's licenses will soon be printed in black and white now that a disputed deal has been approved by the state comptroller. YNN's Lori Chung sat down with DMV officials who say even though it will cost the state more, drivers are getting the best value for their buck.

NEW YORK STATE -- "Technology changes and we need to keep up with it," said DMV Investigation Director Owen McShane.

That's why DMV officials say they're moving to black and white licenses, a disputed deal with a Canadian company now approved by the state comptroller.

McShane said, "The features that we found in the proposal were the most difficult to counterfeit."

That proposal from CBN, though more expensive, beat out two other license makers. Both raised protests with the comptroller who ultimately sided with the DMV.

"An additional $38 million to the New York State residents,” Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola said. “That's the sad part. We've had this one company here since 2005. We haven't seen any problems at all."

Criticism coming from some county clerks. But officials say they confiscated more than 1,400 high-quality phony ids last year alone and that the new polycarbonate cards offer more security.

"They actually use a laser to burn the information into the document," McShane said. "The traditional photo that you're used to with your driver's license, it's larger, it's real high visibility and then there's a second ghost image."

An easy to identify vertical format for drivers under 21. And apparently there's a reason for black and white. Officials say it'll make it harder to fool anyone inclined to check your id.

McShane said, "If you were trying to substitute someone with blond hair you will dye your hair blond and look a little like that. If you have a black and white photo, they're actually more focused on your physical features."

And if you're wondering how soon the look of your driver's license will change, officials say they don't have a production date just yet, but they hope to have it rolled out by the end of the year.

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