The Iconic Credential: Colorado DMV unveils new, more colorful license | Department of Revenue (2023)

Monday, February 28, 2022

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Over 55,000 Coloradans helped design, choose State’s most widespread piece of branding

LAKEWOOD - Monday, February 28 — After almost two years of development, over 55,000 votes and more than 400 entries by 119 Centennial State artists, the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) unveiled the state’s newest driver license and identification (ID) card.

(Video) New Colorado driver license design revealed

Governor Jared Polis revealed the Iconic Credential and announced the new card is now available on Monday, Feb. 28, during a press conference at the History Colorado in Denver.

“For the first time, Coloradans had a voice in the design of our official State credentials and I am proud that the new Colorado driver license better reflects the iconic beauty of our great state,” said Governor Polis. “This card continues to build on the convenience of Digital IDs and mobile driver licenses, and like the Rocky Mountains, this card is built to last with the latest security technology. I am excited to renew my own license today and be among the first to get this beautiful new Colorado driver’s license.”

Mark Ferrandino, executive director of the Colorado Department of Revenue (CDOR), which oversees the DMV, agreed and said the Iconic Credential is in his opinion the best looking credential he has seen.

“The Team did a great job with this credential,” Ferrandino said. “It’s colorful, sturdy and secure, and really showcases our great state. I am proud to have helped bring this card to Colorado, but I am even prouder that more than 55,000 Coloradans had a say in how the Iconic Credential looks.”

Coloradans who would like to obtain the Iconic Credential can renew (or obtain) their driver license or ID card online or in-office. Credential renewals, as well as 44 other services including appointments, are available online at Coloradans seeking in-office service will need to schedule an appointment and can find scheduling information, including a visual walkthrough, at

In addition to physical cards, the Iconic Credential will also be available as the Colorado Digital IDTM in the myColorado™ app, now used by more than 600,000 Coloradans.

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More information can be found at

About the Iconic Credential
Preliminary work on the Iconic Credential began in February 2020, and on Aug. 17, 2020, the Iconic Colorado contest launched, with the goal of transforming Centennial State’s driver licenses into the nation’s most beautiful and closed with 407 submissions (280 front-side entries, 127 back-side entries) from 119 entrants.

Three finalists were selected by a committee that included motor vehicle administrators, artists and Gov. Polis with a final, public vote on the top three designs. 55,760 Coloradans voiced their choice for the design of the new credential.

The winners, photographers Matt Nuñez and Gabriel Dupon, were revealed on March 1, 2021, during a telepress conference. The new designs were slated to debut in fall 2021 but that was pushed to early 2022 to allow further refinement of the card.

Colorado last redesigned its credentials in 2015.

Nuñez and Dupon each received a $500 grant, courtesy of Colorado Creative Industries, a division of Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), which partnered with the DMV to help promote the contest.

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Front Design
Nuñez placed first with his Mount Sneffels entry, which received 26,520 votes or 47.56% of the total. The second place design of the Maroon Bells garnered 21,124 votes or 37.88% of the total. The Black Canyon entry placed third with 8,116 votes for 14.56% of the total votes. Nuñez was the lone finalist selected through two rounds of blind voting that saw his three colorful images vie for the Iconic Colorado crown.

Nuñez is a fifth-generation Coloradan from Colorado Springs, currently living and working in the Denver area. He is proud to come from a long line of family members in military and government service, including his late grandfather, Joe Nuñez, who came to Colorado as a child and served in the State legislature representing Douglas County.

Nuñez was raised in a military family, spending his childhood abroad and across the U.S., before returning to Colorado after college. He has taken photos since high school and quickly took up landscape photography as his focus after spending summers in the Centennial State while in college.

Nuñez works full time as a program manager with the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, and is passionate about building more vibrant Colorado communities while showcasing them through photographs in his free time.

Matt's work can be found on Facebook, Instagram and on his website.

Back Design
In a tight race, Dupon placed first with his Sprague Lake entry, which received 19,989 votes or 35.85% of the total. The second place design of the Shrine Ridge Trail by Fred Lord netted 18,694 votes or 33.53% of the total. Jenn Cunningham’s painting of the Bison on the Plains placed third with 17,077 votes for 30.63% of the total votes.

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Dupon is a Colorado native who loves to be creative and make the unknown into extraordinary. One way he does this is by taking pictures that convey the meaningful, timeless and authentic beauty that surrounds him.

Currently, Dupon is a portrait and wedding photographer with his own photography business. Other than photography, Dupon values spending time with his family, making films and enjoys going on adventures such as traveling, alpine skiing, biking and paddle boarding.

Colorado features

  • Big and bold: The Iconic Credential features Colorado in bold type which represents the state's strong character with a more subtle Colorado placed within to symbolize its grace.
  • More color!: One common request was for a more vibrant and colorful credential, and the Iconic Credential does that by using rainbow color ink which allows smooth transition from one color to the next.
  • REAL ID compliant: The Iconic Credential, like other CO credentials since 2012, is REAL ID compliant, unless it is a credential issued under the Colorado Road and Community Safety Act.
  • Colorado has heart!: The Iconic Credential, like previous Colorado cards, features a donor designation heart. This heart indicates the owner has signed up to be an organ, eye & tissue donor. Colorado has one of the highest donor designation rates in the U.S. For more info or to sign up today, visit
  • Honoring those who have served: The Iconic Credential, like previous versions of Colorado cards, honors those who serve or have served in the U.S. military. Eligible veterans and service members can add military service identifiers to their license. These identifiers include the word "Veteran" as well as the seals and/or logo (Space Force) of all military branches.
  • Like the Rocky Mountains, it's built to last: The Iconic Credential is secure and durable, and contains the latest technology that makes counterfeiting extremely difficult. The card material is among the most durable on the market. The material is 100% polycarbonate and uses laser engraving for the text, photo and other information. Due to the use of the laser engraving process, photos on Colorado cards will be black and white.
  • Magnetic stripe: The Iconic Credential features a magnetic stripe, which helps businesses, retailers and more verify that you are who your credential says you are!
  • All counties represented: Probably the most Colorado-centric security feature the Iconic Credential has is how it represents each of the state's 64 counties. The Iconic Credential has each county listed in micro text on the back side of the card.
  • Endorsements: Coloradans can find their endorsements on the right of the card's backside, just under the magnetic stripe. Coloradans can get a variety of endorsements such as M - Motorcycle, S - School Bus, and a variety of commercial driving endorsements.
  • Protecting Colorado: The Iconic Credential, like previous versions of Colorado cards, list driving restrictions on the left of the card's backside, just under the magnetic stripe. Restrictions can be as simple as indicating the driver must wear contacts lens or glasses, or can reflect restrictions related to driving under the influence. These restrictions are set in statute, and let law enforcement officers know what a person needs to do to drive safely.

Contest info
More than 400 entries were submitted by over 100 talented Coloradans, including finalists Matt Nuñez, Fred Lord, Jenn Cunningham and Gabriel Dupon.

Three finalists were selected by a committee that included motor vehicle administrators, artists and Gov. Polis. with a final, public vote on the top three designs.


Media Kit
Please see below for information and graphics about the nation’s most beautiful card, the Iconic Credential.

(Video) Watch: TODAY All Day - Jan. 29


Why do I need a gold star on my Colorado driver's license? ›

The star at the top right corner of your Colorado-issued driver license or identification card indicates that you are REAL ID compliant.

When did Colorado change their driver's license? ›

- The most recent driver license redesign was in 2015; before that the credential had been mostly unchanged since 2003. Copyright 2022 KKTV.

When did the new Colorado IDS come out? ›

Colorado's new design is slated to debut in the fall of 2021.

Is a digital driver's license legal Colorado? ›

Colorado Digital ID may be accepted as a legal form of personal identification for use in Colorado. All executive branch agencies may accept Colorado Digital ID as a method to prove a person's identity where a physical driver license or other state identification is currently required.

Do I need a REAL ID if I have a passport? ›

Our REAL ID online wizard may help you decide if and when to get a REAL ID. If you know you will not be boarding a commercial flight or visiting a secure federal facility or military base after May 3, 2023 or if you have a valid passport, you do not need a REAL ID.

Can you use Colorado Digital ID at airport? ›

At this time, Colorado ID in Wallet is accepted only at select TSA security checkpoints at participating airports around the country, including within DEN. To use Colorado ID in Wallet at a TSA checkpoint, residents can simply tap their iPhone or Watch at the TSA's identity reader.

What does the new driver's license look like Colorado? ›

The state Monday unveiled a new design for its licenses, featuring Mt. Sneffels, which is near Ouray in the San Juan Mountains, on the front. The back of the card features Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. Small images of a Pueblo chili pepper and an elk are also featured on the new license design.

What does a red Colorado driver's license mean? ›

Probationary Drivers License ("Red License")

Why are Colorado driver's license black and white? ›

' They think that the color photo would help with more facial recognition and actually that's not the case. The grayscale photo actually increases facial recognition,” said Lynn Granger with the Colorado Department of Revenue. And that means no more saying “cheese.” “'Why can't I smile?

What does a REAL ID in Colorado look like? ›

Real ID-compliant cards have a star in a black circle or a yellow star in the top right corner. Even if you have an older Colorado ID, you're still set. Licenses from compliant states — regardless of if the ID is the new or old version — will be accepted after Jan. 22.

Is Colorado getting new IDs? ›

Colorado driver's licenses will now have a fresh look. The state unveiled its new identification cards Monday, featuring Mount Sneffels of the San Juan range on the front and scenic Sprague Lake from Rocky Mountain National Park on the back. The new Colorado driver license design.

What are the new IDs called? ›

A REAL ID is a form of identification that meets increased security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards. Travelers will be required to provide either a REAL ID or another TSA-approved form of identification in order to fly after May 3, 2023.

Can I just carry my digital license? ›

The NSW Digital Driver Licence is legal for use across NSW and is accepted by most pubs and clubs, and NSW Police. It doesn't replace your plastic card, so we recommend you still carry your card as a backup while venues get used to seeing and accepting the digital driver licence as identification.

Can you fly with a digital ID? ›

The TSA officer may require this physical ID in addition to the digital ID. TSA recommends eligible travelers complete the process of adding their digital ID to their mobile device before arriving at the TSA checkpoint to get the most efficient passenger experience.

Can you buy alcohol with digital ID Colorado? ›

The Digital ID includes a feature people can use to ​hide personal details that are not pertinent for identity verification. For instance, to purchase alcohol, the holder can hide their address and birthdate using the toggle settings in the app. There is an indicator that shows if they are over 21.

Why would you need both a passport book and a passport card? ›

The passport card was designed for the specific needs of northern and southern U.S. border communities with residents that cross the border frequently by land. The passport book is the only document approved for international air travel.

What is a REAL ID vs driver's license? ›

A REAL ID is a driver's license or identification card that is also a federally accepted form of identification. It can be used to board a domestic flight within the U.S. and enter secure federal facilities, such as military bases, federal courthouses, and other secure federal locations.

What ID can I use if I don't have a passport or driving Licence? ›

Most recent mortgage statement from a recognised lender** Current benefit book or card or original notification letter from Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) confirming the rights to benefit (for example, child allowance, pension)** Current local council rent card or tenancy agreement.

Can I fly with my driver's license 2022? ›

You must present an acceptable ID, such as a valid passport, state-issued enhanced driver's license or U.S. military ID, to fly within the U.S.

Can I fly to Colorado with a REAL ID? ›

Having a REAL ID compliant credential will likely make traveling easier for you. Starting Oct. 1, 2020, your non-compliant credential cannot be used to board flights or enter certain federal facilities, including military bases, nuclear facilities and some federal offices.

Do businesses have to accept Colorado Digital ID? ›

Colorado businesses are encouraged to accept the Digital ID, and all executive branch agencies may accept the Digital ID as a method to prove a person's identity.

What are the 3 types of driver's license? ›

These are student permit, non-professional, and professional. The minimum age for driving in the Philippines is 16 years old, provided that the driver has applied for a student permit and is accompanied by a duly licensed person, whether professional or non-professional.

Can you smile in Colorado license? ›

Coloradans can now smile when having their photo taken for driver licenses, identification cards or instruction permits. “We are always looking at ways to better serve Coloradans,” said Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles Senior Director Electra Bustle.

What does C mean on Colorado driver's license? ›

This class permits the operation of all vehicles in Class C, but does not permit the operation of a motorcycle, motorscooter, motor-driven cycle, or a bus equipped for carrying ten or more persons. Class C - This is the basic drivers' license and permits the operation of any two-axle vehicle.

What does a pink driver's Licence mean? ›

This means that the driver is currently suspended or disqualified and is driving under the conditions of a court order. The driver may be able to drive to and from work, for example. On the back of the licence the words 'REF COURT ORDER' appear.

Why are there different color Colorado license plates? ›

Red Colorado license plates are for rental and company or commercial owned vehicles. Green license plates are for standard vehicles used for non-commercial reasons.

Why are some Colorado license plates red instead of green? ›

You have probably seen several cars with red license plates. The color denotes that the vehicle is part of a fleet. The plates will have the “FLT” prefix stamped on the side.

Can you smile on driver's license? ›

have a plain expression so don't smile or frown - eyes open and mouth closed. eyes fully visible, hair away from your face and eyes. take your glasses off if you can - if you need to keep your glasses on, your eyes must be visible without any glare or reflections. no sunglasses or tinted glasses.

Can you smile in an ID photo? ›

1. It should be a clear photo of your head and shoulders (and nothing/nobody else), showing your whole face, and your eyes, but not your teeth. In other words, smiling softly like the Mona Lisa is quite acceptable if you don't want your pic to look like a mug shot.

Is it illegal to drive a black in Denver? ›

Based on my many, many, many hours of research, I can confidently say the claim that a law that you can't drive a black car in Denver, Colorado on Sunday in fact, isn't, nor has ever been an official law in Denver or Colorado.

Is Colorado ID a REAL ID? ›

In accordance with the REAL ID Act, the Colorado DMV must verify an applicant's full legal name, identity, date of birth, and lawful presence in the United States when issuing a Colorado driver license or state identification card.

How much is a REAL ID in Colorado? ›

The fee for obtaining a REAL ID in Colorado for drivers under 60 years old is $12.67, and for drivers over 60 years old, it's free. Keep in mind, since 2012, most Colorado driver licenses and identification cards have been REAL ID-compliant, so you may be lucky enough to skip this whole process.

Is a cracked ID valid in Colorado? ›

A valid Identification must include:

Current Address. Expiration Date (not expired) Birthdate which indicates an age of 21 or older. In good condition (no cracks, chips, damage or inability to read essential information)

How do I get a Colorado Digital ID? ›

Digital ID and Law Enforcement

Download the latest version of myColorado from the App Store or Google Play. Create your account and generate your Colorado Digital ID™. Add your vehicle registration and auto insurance card to the app Wallet.

What type of ID is the best? ›

Valid Forms of ID
  • Valid Driver's License.
  • Birth Certificate.
  • State-issued Identification Card.
  • Student Identification Card.
  • Social Security Card.
  • Military Identification Card.
  • Passport or Passport Card.

What are the 4 types ID? ›

Valid Forms of ID

Social Security card. Birth certificate. Bank card (even if it includes the cardholder's photo) Employer ID.

What is required to get a REAL ID? ›

Visit your state's driver's licensing agency website to find out exactly what documentation is required to obtain a REAL ID. At a minimum, you must provide documentation showing: 1) Full Legal Name; 2) Date of Birth; 3) Social Security Number; 4) Two Proofs of Address of Principal Residence; and 5) Lawful Status.

Can the police check your driving Licence? ›

An officer does not need a reason to stop a person driving, or attempting to drive, for a routine check. They can then ask you to provide your name, date of birth, driving license, insurance certificate or MOT certificate.

Can you show license on phone? ›

Driving licence and other important documents can be stored on your smartphone via DigiLocker or mParivahan app.

Can I use the same digital license on two computers? ›

Unfortunately, you cannot use the same license to another machine if the existing PC that has the license is still active. Once you activate the license to your laptop, the laptop will either activated and the old PC will get deactivated or you will get an error because the license is currently in use.

Can I wear my Apple Watch through TSA? ›

Yes, you can. Many travelers report wearing their watch or Apple Watch without a problem and without triggering the detector's alarm. But as stated on the TSA website, just like any other security check: “TSA uses unpredictable security measures, both seen and unseen, throughout the airport.

What can I use instead of ID to fly? ›

Acceptable forms of identification:

Driver's licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent) U.S. passport. U.S. passport card. DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)

Can I show ID on my phone at airport? ›

“As per circular number AVSEC order 15/2017, issued by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security of the ministry of civil aviation regarding the list of photo ID proofs for security control of departing passengers, a hard copy must be compulsorily displayed to security personnel at airports.

Can you show your ID on your phone to buy alcohol? ›

For example, when you're buying alcohol, all the liquor store needs to know is that you're over 21. Mobile ID lets you show that you're legal without sharing your birth date or even your exact age.

What can I use as ID to buy alcohol? ›

Acceptable forms of ID to prove you are over 18 include:

A photo driving licence. A passport. A proof of age card, such as the PASS card from the national Proof of Age Standards Scheme.

Can you fly in the US without a star on your license? ›

You must present an acceptable ID, such as a valid passport, state-issued enhanced driver's license or U.S. military ID, to fly within the U.S. You will not be allowed to fly if your identity cannot be verified. Review the complete list of acceptable identification.

Do I need a REAL ID in Colorado? ›

Do I have to get a REAL ID compliant credential? No, but please note that all Colorado driver licenses and ID cards, except CO-RCSA credentials, have been REAL ID compliant since 2012. Having a REAL ID compliant credential will likely make traveling easier for you.

What do I need to get a REAL ID in Colorado? ›

New Colorado residents must provide TWO DOCUMENTS for proof of residency, a state/county-certified (or original) birth certificate OR valid passport, and proof of Social Security Number. Proof of residency documents must include the applicant's name and physical address.

Can you fly with a Colorado driver's license? ›

Currently, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) lists regular driver's licenses and state photo ID cards as acceptable forms of identification at airport checkpoints, but it notes that all such IDs must be REAL ID compliant by the May 3, 2023 deadline for anyone seeking to fly within the U.S.

What can I use to fly if I don't have an ID? ›

Here are some alternative documents to try:
  • U.S. passport.
  • U.S. passport card.
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents.
  • Permanent resident card.
  • Border crossing card.
  • State-issued Enhanced Driver's License.
22 Dec 2021

Can you travel internationally with a REAL ID? ›

If you are traveling internationally you will still need your passport. If you are traveling domestically, you will only need one valid form of identification – either your REAL ID or another acceptable alternative such as a passport, not both.

What documents count as proof of address? ›

What is accepted as proof of address?
  • Water, electricity, gas, telephone, or Internet bill.
  • Credit card bill or statement.
  • Bank statement.
  • Bank reference letter.
  • Mortgage statement or contract.
  • Letter issued by a public authority (e.g. a courthouse)
  • Company payslip.
  • Car or home insurance policy.

Do you have to take a written test to get your license in Colorado? ›


View/download the driver manual. You will be required to successfully pass the written test before an instruction permit can be issued. written test with a driving school, bring the original "Test Completion Form" with you to the DMV office to obtain an instruction permit.

How much does a REAL ID cost in Colorado? ›

Colorado's Real ID driver's licenses and state identification cards come from the Divison of Motor Vehicles. Present the required original or certified documents to prove your identity in person. A compliant driver's license costs $30.87. Identification cards cost $12.67 for residents under 60 years old.

What is a REAL ID Colorado? ›

In accordance with the REAL ID Act, the Colorado DMV must verify an applicant's full legal name, identity, date of birth, and lawful presence in the United States when issuing a Colorado driver license or state identification card.

What ID do I need to fly in the US 2022? ›

In the United States, you need a valid U.S. government-issued photo ID or a passport from your country of origin to travel through security. You must show that the name on your boarding pass matches the legal name on your unexpired government-issued ID.


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