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DMV unveils new numbering system for driver's licenses

By PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader

December 06. 2017 12:20AM

CONCORD — The state is changing the way it generates driver’s license numbers, the final step in a lengthy redesign process for New Hampshire licenses.

The new system assigns driver’s license numbers with three letters and eight randomly assigned characters, creating an 11 digit identification number.

This represents a change from the old 10-digit system, which was based on a person’s name and birthday said Larry Crowe, Public Information Officer for the New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

According to Crowe, the DMV transitioned to a new computer system on October 11.

The new system includes a security feature that randomly generates a driver’s license number, now called a credential identifier.

“Under the old system, 10-digit driver’s license numbers were generated using a person’s name and birthday,” said Crowe. “If someone knew that, they could try and figure out someone’s birthday. The new numbers are random.”

“The DMV is pleased to provide this additional layer of privacy and security for its customers,” DMV Director Elizabeth Bielecki said in a statement.

The change to the three-letter and eight-digit identifier impacts all New Hampshire driver’s licenses issued on or after Oct. 11, 2017. Current licenses will remain valid until their scheduled renewal, said Crowe.

Earlier this year DMV officials announced changes to New Hampshire driver’s licenses and non-driver identification cards that are compliant with the federal Real ID law.

The new design includes the iconic New Hampshire symbols of the Old Man of the Mountain and a state outline along with the Purple Lilac.

The redesign also ended nearly two decades of refusal by the state to comply with the Real ID law, which intends for there to be identification cards in all 50 states with the same security provisions across the country.

The new design is being phased in over five years, and citizens will only receive them once they are due for a scheduled license renewal. Current licenses and non-driver IDs remain valid until their scheduled renewal.

The change in how driver’s license numbers are issued completes the updating of the design of the New Hampshire driver and non-driver identification cards, said Crowe.

pfeely@unionleader.com


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