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Document Discriminator Appears on Driver’s Licenses

Logo for Quora, where Dana Shultz answered a question about the Document Discriminator that has been appearing on various states' driver's licensesThis post about the so-called Document Discriminator on driver’s licenses is somewhat off-topic for this blog. However, I find this tidbit of information so interesting that I feel compelled to write about it.

I first presented this information in a Quora answer that I wrote last month. Please see What does the DD on a Michigan driver’s license mean?

DD = Document Discriminator

DD is an abbreviation for Document Discriminator. A number of states started adding this piece of information to their driver’s licenses several years ago.

The DD is a security code that identifies where and when the license was issued. It, thus, uniquely identifies each card for a given individual. Accordingly, it serves to thwart people who wish to tamper with, counterfeit or duplicate a government document.

Please note that the document discriminator does not include the driver’s license number.

The DD has its genesis in the 2005 federal Real ID Act. Page 29 of a September 2006 report by the National Governors Association,  the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators provides the following explanation. (AAMVA represents U.S. states and Canadian provinces.)

The Act requires States to incorporate “physical security features designed to prevent tampering, counterfeiting, or duplication of the document for fraudulent purposes.”

Driver’s License / ID Card Standard

As a result of Real ID, AAMVA prepared, and revised over time, a driver’s license / ID card standard. That standard describes the document discriminator as follows:

Number must uniquely identify a particular document issued to that customer from others that may have been issued in the past. This number may serve multiple purposes of document discrimination, audit information number, and/or inventory control.

Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law +1 510-547-0545 dana [at] danashultz [dot] com
This blog does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer directly.

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