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New Maryland flag-themed driver's licenses available Monday

The state Motor Vehicle Administration will begin issuing the new Maryland flag-themed state driver's licenses and identification cards Monday.

Officials announced the $3.5 million redesign, intended to guard against identity theft and counterfeiting, early last month.

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The state flag backdrop is the most remarkable change; the cards also feature a range of security measures such as a polycarbonate card stock with laser imaging to protect against forgery.

The cards will be made available by request beginning Monday, and all licenses issued after July 11 will feature the new design.

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If a customer wants to get the new card before the current one has expired, he or she may apply for a duplicate license for $20.

When it was unveiled, State Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn touted the technology and called the redesigned license "the most secure driver's license in the United States today."

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