Where is this powder coming from?
November 11, 2009 5:48 PM   Subscribe

What is the name of the technology that produces powder (that verifies authenticity, I suppose) when you bend a drivers license or other ID card?

My friend has a New York Drivers License (maybe not the newest one, but still pretty new). If you bend the license, it releases a kind of powder, presumably to verify its authenticity. I'm really curious about the technology (and not because I'm trying to make a fake ID, it is just an interesting technique), and I'm having a hard time googling for more info. Does anyone know what this security technique is called? What other states use it? Where I can find out more?
posted by JakeWalker to Law & Government (10 answers total)
I don't know that the powder release is actually intentional, but NYS ID cards are made out of a material called teslin.
posted by cosmic osmo at 6:02 PM on November 11, 2009

I have a NYC drivers license and bending it does not appear to release any powder.
posted by bshort at 6:03 PM on November 11, 2009

Maybe only the fake ones release powder!
posted by randomstriker at 6:21 PM on November 11, 2009

I can't imagine that's intentional.

The supply of powder has to be limited. So, if you're a big boozer or a smoker, you're going to get carded nearly every day. At some point the powder will run out. And then your card looks fake.
posted by Netzapper at 6:23 PM on November 11, 2009

I'd imagine the powder is a byproduct of the printing or manufacturing process.
posted by dantekgeek at 6:30 PM on November 11, 2009

Are you sure it's verifying its authenticity, as opposed to its usefulness for chopping and shaping lines?
posted by flabdablet at 6:43 PM on November 11, 2009 [3 favorites]

Have a NYS driver's license and have not noticed any powder.
posted by dfriedman at 8:53 PM on November 11, 2009

Just got a new NYS drivers license less than a week ago. No powder. I think you're friend might be pulling a prank on you.
posted by Nyarlathotep at 9:10 PM on November 11, 2009

You sure they aren't bending the license to see the holographic decal?
posted by anti social order at 5:30 AM on November 12, 2009

You sure they aren't bending the license to see the holographic decal?

Honestly, my guess is that they are bending it to find fake holograms. Usually they are done by printing a design on the outside in fancy ink and I imagine that bending it could flake it off since it's just printed ink.
posted by smackfu at 2:34 PM on November 23, 2009

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