Updated: 10/02/2013 7:32 PM
Created: 10/02/2013 5:25 PM WHEC.com
By: Joangel Concepcion
You see it every time you open your wallet, but now get ready for a change. This week, the Department of Motor Vehicles began issuing new driver's licenses. They're black and white. The new licenses are all for your security. It won't cost you more money when renewing your license. But the switch is costing taxpayers $38 million more than the current ones.
New York State says this change is all about security. The new license is "laser engraved" which the maker says makes it virtually tamper resistant. That's what the state is getting for $70 million price tag. But some local drivers say that much money could be used for something else.
Kelly Reiber said, “Well I think it's kind of high and kind of ridiculous. I don't know why they would spend that kind of money to change it over when the old ones seemed to work just fine.”
Gary Goldstein said, “It's ludicrous. I'd like to see the break down as to why it's costing $70 million. Is my license going to be worth that much money?”
The new design has more than 30 security features including laser engraving and a “grayscale” appearance. Officials say this is the most secure ID of its kind in the nation. Another important feature is for drivers under 21. They get a vertical ID. Anyone 21 and over gets the traditional horizontal look.
News10NBC asked a DMV official why they felt it was so important to go with the highest bidder for this contract.
Jackie McGinnis, Department of Motor Vehicles, said, “It's a contract for eight years and basically, we pay $2.10 per document and we estimate that we are going to do 34 million licenses. The increased security is worth a dollar more per document. We want to maintain the security of the document and therefore, people's more personal security. We have to have a document that very difficult to be counterfeited.”
DMV officials say you won't be required to get the new license before your current one expires and you won't have to get a new picture taken either. It won't cost you anymore for the new license, but that $70 million contract is being paid for with your tax dollars.