This sample of the new state of Georgia driver's license design includes the black and white photo, along with the iconic Georgia peach and the Real ID Homeland Security Star.

The Georgia Department of Driver Services recently began issuing new driver's licenses and identification cards the agency says are more secure than previous versions.

The cards, available at DDS' 67 customer service centers, have a modern design and feel with the most secure credentials the state of Georgia has ever issued, DDS officials said in a statement. All previously issued Georgia licenses and ID cards will remain valid until their expiration date. At that time, customers will be issued a newly designed card whether visiting in-person or via the DDS 2 GO mobile app.

“I commend Commissioner Spencer R. Moore and the DDS team for this important achievement," Gov. Brian Kemp said. "These upgrades ensure that Georgia will continue to issue one of the most secure credentials in the nation and enhance confidence in the safety and security of these documents.”

“We are excited about these innovative changes to protect our customers’ personal information and improve customer service,” Moore said. “I am very proud the project was completed on schedule and within the allotted budget."

The new cards are made of premium polycarbonate to reduce document forgery and protect against identity fraud, state officials said. Perhaps the most dramatic change is the adoption of the new industry best practice of using black and white customer photos on the licenses and IDs. Images are laser engraved, virtually tamper resistant and increase the overall security of the license, officials said.

The symbolic Georgia peach and outline of the state are also integrated into the design of the card. Under 21 cards remain vertically oriented. The Real ID Homeland Security Star continues to be at the top right corner when applicable.

As with the previous licensing process, a temporary with photograph and barcode is issued to all customers whether visiting in person, choosing to use DDS 2 GO or online services. The temporary serves as proof of driving privileges until the permanent card arrives in approximately 30 days.

When it is time for a renewal, the new cards will be available via the official DDS mobile app, DDS 2 GO, and DDS Online Services at www.dds.georgia.gov. These two renewal options offer a $5 discount to obtain the new card.