Arkansas Unveils News Licenses for Underage Drivers

DECEMBER 12, 2006 - Posted at 8:00 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Arkansas minors hoping to buy a case of beer or a pack of cigarettes now face another obstacle.

Yesterday, Governor Huckabee and state revenue officials announced new driver's licenses and identification cards that make it easier to identify who's underage.

The cards are shaped vertically, unlike the traditional horizontal design. Governor Huckabee says they will be easier to identify than scanning a card for a date of birth.

The state began issuing the licenses yesterday, but underage drivers are not required to switch over to the new licenses. Purchasing software for the new cards cost the state about $60,000.

State officials say that of the 1.9 million active driver's licenses in the state, 186-thousand-475 belong to drivers under the age of 21.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)