Arizona Getting Ugly New Driver's License Design

There's going to be a new design for Arizona driver's licenses, starting June 16.

As you can see from the sample above, it's hideous.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, this new license is "designed to protect against identity theft."

On this new design sample, we're counting 10 different fonts, sizes, or colors of text. We're counting four text differences on the old license, which are nicely aligned, unlike the new one.

Gone is the background of the Grand Canyon and the blue sky above it, as it's being replaced with something that looks like it would be awarded an "honorable mention" in an art contest among third-graders.

Even the word "Arizona," which was printed in a clean, traditional serif font on the old license, now looks like the lettering above the cheap diner in your local strip mall.

Even better, ADOT says you can't actually pick up the new license at the MVD. You'll be issued a temporary license, and the ugly license will be mailed to your home within 15 days.

According to an ADOT explainer, "As in other states that have moved to this process, the decision to accept the temporary credential as proof of identity exists solely with the organization requesting to see the license or identification card."

Although the old license doesn't expire until you're old, you're supposed to get your photo updated every 12 years, so the current style of licenses are valid for another 12 years.

ADOT describes the "art" in the background as a "high-security design comprised of unique Arizona geological features in the background created by using many different patterns, lines and images." (And 15 different flavors of ugly.)

Other security features include a raised feel to the date-of-birth field, a laminate overlay (similar to the current one), the second portrait, and a "laser perforation" in the shape of Arizona.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley