Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Goodbye, Gayle! Hello, Avery!

July 19, 2018

Minnesota driver's licenses in horizontal and vertical orientationsSometimes you just have to take advantage of a good opportunity, even if it doesn’t seem like one at the time. An example: The material on which the state of Minnesota prints our driver’s licenses and state IDs is being discontinued, and our stock is running out. So why not use this as an opportunity? The state’s branding is changing, and REAL ID is coming soon, so a redesign was definitely in order.

Our Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) division will begin issuing newly designed driver’s licenses and state IDs at the beginning of August, and both designs – the current one and the new one – will be in circulation for the next four years. That means that there’s no need to renew your license or state ID before it expires, or unless you need to change your name or address.

Several features of the new design make it better for various stakeholders. Bartenders and law enforcement officers alike often have to read IDs in low light, so the new design has tactile features, laser cuts and a specific font that make it easier to read and harder to counterfeit. Similarly, the new ID design for people under 21 has a completely different orientation – portrait (or vertical), as opposed to the usual landscape (or horizontal), so that servers can tell at a glance whether it’s legal for that person to buy alcohol and other controlled substances.

And if you’re wondering about REAL ID, the state has that covered: REAL ID will be identifiable with a star in the upper right-hand corner, a feature required by federal law. You will be able to apply for REAL IDs when they become available in October of 2018, but there is no need to rush. Minnesotans can use their current IDs for federal purposes (such as boarding a domestic flight or entering a military base) until October 2020.

There is also an enhanced ID available in the new design style. Enhanced Driver’s Licenses (EDL) and Enhanced ID Cards (EID) are dual-purpose optional cards that allow Minnesotans to re-enter the U.S. at land and seaports when returning from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean.

With the advent of the new design comes the retirement of Gayle Sample, whom we’ve been seeing on sample ID images since 2004. But she’s handing the torch over to Avery and Jun, and making life easier for all Minnesotans.