N.Y. C-stores Drop Opposition to Driver's License Change

ALBANY, N.Y. -- After meeting with officials at the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, the New York Association of Convenience Stores is no longer raising objections to the possible changes to the state's driver's license.

In a letter obtained by the Albany Times Union, NYACS President James Calvin told Associate Commissioner Jackie McGinnis that the association looks forward to working with the DMV to inform retailers about the license switch. The meeting took place late last week.

As CSNews Online previously reported, New York's DMV tentatively awarded a contract to produce driver's licenses to CBN Secure Technology of Ottawa, Ontario. The new contract comes with a change -- the new driver's license photos will be black-and-white instead of color. When the deal first made news, Calvin said the change could hinder efforts of retail stores to prevent underage sales of alcohol and tobacco.

However, the DMV explained that only the photos would be in black and white, the rest of the license would remain in color. Commissioner Barbara J. Fiala also explained that CBN Secure Technology was selected because of document security and anti-tampering issues.

In his letter to McGinnis, Calvin thanked DMV officials for meeting with NYACS and explaining the rationale behind the new design.

"Because convenience stores take seriously their legal and moral obligation to prevent underage sales of tobacco and alcohol, we had expressed concern about how the re-design might impact the proofing of customers by retail cashiers,” Calvin wrote. "The state-of-the-art, tamper-proof card you showed me is extraordinary. By confronting the fake ID epidemic head-on, these security features would unquestionably serve to further the objective we all share -- reducing youth access to age-restricted products. I was also pleased to learn that the Under-21 licenses would have a vertical, rather than horizontal, format, making them instantly recognizable to the seller."

He added that the association would still prefer a color photo, and the expiration date highlighted in red rather than black "but we understand that those options are simply not available with the new laser-etching technology that is far more resistant to tampering and counterfeiting."


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