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Kentucky Drivers Get New Licenses

In its effort to fight smoking and drinking among minors, Kentucky will begin issuing new drivers licenses with bar codes that would help store owners to quickly and accurately identify fraudulent ID's.

The new license was unveiled in Frankfort, Ky., and there are several major differences between it and the current one. In addition to bar codes, the details on the front of the license are bigger and easier to read, including a date when minors turn 18 and 21. And the licenses for those under age 20 will be vertical instead of horizontal. The new licenses will be phased in over the next four years.

"This will allow a bar owner or convenience store owner to correctly access the information with a scanning device," Kentucky State Police spokesman Rodney Brewer said. "The code helps us detect fake IDs, and deter kids from buying beer."

Stores will have to buy the scanners, which cost around $200 each. Kentucky is the latest state to adopt scanning technology to weed out fake ID's. Other states, such as West Virginia and Ohio, have passed laws allowing retailers to use scanning systems as an affirmative defense should a minor use a fake ID to obtain any age-restricted products.
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