Hey, Florida drivers, what’s in your wallet?
If it is your current driver’s license, don’t get too attached to it.
That’s because the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is making changes to them for added protection against identity theft and driver’s license fraud, over and above a newer look with more security features than debuted in 2017.
The future licenses will lose the magnetic strip on the back, while the bar code gets moved, department spokeswoman Alexis Bakofsky said. Look for what she called “a tactile security feature” on the bottom right front of the card.
“In order to keep the credentials secure, the department went ahead and conducted a redesign which allowed us to put almost double the number of security features on the new card than was on the last card,” Bakofsky said. “Floridians have the most secure over-the counter-credential on the market.”
Those with recently procured Florida driver’s licenses or ID cards shouldn’t worry. They will remain usable until they expire, although the design with magnetic strip will be completely phased out after March 2027, state officials said. And what’s that “tactile security feature,” you might ask? It will actually be a raised bump that will quickly tell a police officer, TSA agent or nightclub bouncer that an ID they are holding is valid or not.
The new license will also have a colored indicator as to the bearer’s type of license. Those under 21 will display a red box on the front indicating the date when the driver turns that age. A blue “CDL” top center indicates a commercial driver, while “DRIVER LICENSE” is printed in green, and red letters spell out “IDENTIFICATION CARD.”
To learn more about the modifications, visit flhsmv.gov/newDL.
Meanwhile, the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization is looking for the public’s involvement in a novel pair of town meetings next week.
The independent regional transportation planning agency for Duval, Clay, Nassau and St. Johns counties is presenting its Long-Range Transportation Plan 2045, but you don’t have to go anywhere. For the first time it will have telephone town meetings, each from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, accessible at pathforward2045.com.
“Securing public participation is extremely important to this process,” organization spokeswoman Marci Larsen said. “This is our first experience in using a telephone town hall — we usually schedule public meetings — but they do not generate great attendance.”
Telephone attendees can listen and learn about the long-range plan, ask questions and share comments. But to “attend,” participants must register at pathforward2045.com to receive a call that connects to the town hall.
The planning organization also is asking those residents to take its online safety survey at publicinput.com/4509. It wants to hear traffic safety concerns and learn where problem areas are, as well as thoughts on how resources should be allocated among engineering, education and enforcement. After completing the survey and contact information, participants will be entered to win one of three $100 gift cards. Deadline for completing the survey is June 28.
And finally, watch out for two road projects in the area, one almost done, the other just beginning:
• That construction project on the Hart Bridge Expressway at the split between the downtown and Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway/TIAA Bank Field exits that has narrowed lanes should be done soon, the Transportation Department said. Begun in April, the $85,000 maintenance project includes the replacement of the impact attenuator at the V-shaped concrete lane split as well as improved pavement markings, and should be done by next week. FYI, attenuators are basically crash cushioning, designed to compact in a controlled manner after impact to protect the driver and the structure.
• Part of Seagate Avenue at the Atlantic and Neptune Beach border has been closed to replace a sidewalk over a drainage canal as part of the Florida A1A/Third Street Drainage Project. The closure should remain in place until August, with the Seagate Avenue sidewalk closed concurrently with one on Fifth Street so work can be done while schools are not in session. A temporary walkway will be installed at the Seagate crossing, according to the Transportation Department. Extended road closures and detours will also be part of the project. For information on the project, visit JaxBeachDrainage.com.
Anyone have a question about traffic or a regional road project? Contact me at [email protected]
Dan Scanlan: (904) 359-4549