Here at Aceable, we help people get their driver licenses. And since there’s a listicle for everything these days, we thought we’d make one for driver license designs, ranking them worst to best.
A note about driver licenses: There’s lots of restrictions when it comes to designing them due to a recently passed Act of Congress called Real ID. This act requires state IDs, or driver licenses, to have tons security features that they didn’t have before — so if your license design has changed in the last few years, that’s probably why. While not all driver licenses are currently Real ID compliant, state governments are working toward it because citizens boarding an airplane will be required to have Real ID by 2020.
In short, don’t take these driver license design rankings too seriously. The design is less important than what they enable you to do (drive, duh.) But if your state ranks at the top of the list, definitely brag about it. Now on to the rankings!
I’m so sorry, Oklahoma, but you’re last.
50. New Hampshire
Couldn’t find a good image of a New Hampshire driver license, so by default …
Designer: What you want, fam?
Driver License Office Employee: You know the patterns that a lie detector makes?
Designer: Say no more.
Should we color in the rest? Nah, just leave it white.
Ohio did color in the rest.
Keepin’ it minimalistic.
The best part of this sample license is that that’s not even a picture of a real human, but rather what appears to be a VINTAGE BARBIE.
Simple and straightforward.
Also pink. Plus, sail boats.
Feel like that’s the palace in the Wizard of Oz.
I see you Mount Olympus.
39. South Dakota
Mount Rushmore is cooler cause it has faces.
There’s a lot happening.
37. New Jersey
Ooh, capitol fading into state outline.
35. South Carolina
Wind power for the win.
32. North Carolina
No Wright Bros. airplane?
Sorry, Wisconsin, but everyone did the capitol building thing.
Another capitol building.
Capitol building, again.
28. New York
Looks like it could be foreign currency.
The first of many licenses that went with the city skyline concept.
Ditto Missouri, ditto Texas.
A+ use of wildlife.
The gradient on that font, though.
Mountains plus lots o’ squiggles.
Them Georgia peaches.
Aww, Nick Sample. <3
18. West Virginia
Ooh, an actual photograph of mountains this time.
17. Washington DC
Looks like a purple-y map of Europe.
Executed the ombré effect well.
Spirograph pattern on point.
Not the best of the mountain-themed licenses, but also not the worst.
The Grand Canyon. Nice, but predictable.
Pretty scenery, soothing colors.
Abstract. Also, the only license to fully utilize the state flag.
Tropical looking (despite Delaware not being very tropical).
Bucking broncos. Cowboys. The epitome of the wild, wild west.
6. North Dakota
Moose! (cuter than bison)
Font. Color palette. Yes.
3. New Mexico
Desert scenes and geometric patterned everything.
2. Rhode Island
Sailboats, rocky cliffs, the setting for a Nicholas Sparks novel.
Also known as the fake ID McLovin’ had in Superbad. See, this is why there are Real ID laws.