The state Division of Motor Vehicles has stopped decorating driver’s licenses with a silvery hologram that was designed as a nationwide security tool — and derided as the symbol of an anti-American plot.
The foil stamp features the shimmering images of an automobile and a globe centered on North America. It appears on the flip side of 4.6 million licenses issued since December 2006.
It was conceived by a national group of motor vehicle officials for possible use as a tool to mark the authenticity of licenses issued in each state. North Carolina was the only state to use it, in what DMV calls a pilot program.
U.S. homeland security officials decided not to take the hologram nationwide, so North Carolina stopped putting it on new licenses this week. The two-year experiment cost the state $1.5 million.
“What this hologram was supposed to do was to show that this was an official document of a state DMV,” said DMV spokeswoman Marge Howell. “That was the idea in the first place, to put them on all licenses across the country to help law enforcement officers readily identify them.”
That's the official version, anyway.
The hologram became controversial last year when it was linked with a purported scheme to erase national borders, flood the land with illegal immigrants and create something critics call a North American Union.
William Gheen of Raleigh, president of the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, said the DMV hologram resembled the logo of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America. He said the group promotes a speedier flow of goods and people across the continent.
Gheen also objected to the DMV hologram as part of the nation’s “Real ID” effort — a security program that includes digital face recognition and other identification technology.
“We believe illegal immigration can be reversed without subjecting law-abiding Americans to this kind of Big Brother ID tracking,” Gheen said. “We’re pleased to see this potential tracking device removed from the licenses. We hope to see North Carolina withdraw from the Real ID program."