Treasurer Stacy Garrity: Account Validation Makes Payments More Secure

Treasurer Stacy Garrity today announced that the list of vendors qualified to provide new electronic payment security protocols (Account Validation Services, or AVS) for state government agencies has been posted to Treasury’s website.

“AVS is a powerful tool in the never-ending fight against fraud and identity theft,” Garrity said. “Criminals are constantly looking for new ways to steal taxpayer dollars, and we will do everything possible to stop them. I thank the General Assembly and Governor Wolf for giving Treasury the authority to require AVS across all state agencies.”

Act 54 of 2022 authorized Treasury to require the implementation of AVS, a significant step forward in detecting and preventing the fraudulent expenditure of public funds. AVS, which is almost instantaneous, uses bank account information and other unique identity data fields to confirm a payee’s relationship with the receiving bank account.

The list of qualified vendors includes 10 companies capable of providing AVS. Every agency, board or commission for which Treasury makes payments must choose one of the vendors to use for its payments no later than January 2024. Act 54 requires Treasury to update the list of approved vendors at least every two years.

PennDOT Phases in Newly-Designed Driver Licenses, ID Cards

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today announced that, as part of ongoing security enhancements, PennDOT is updating the design and enhancing the security features of its driver license and identification card products.

“The update is an important component of PennDOT’s ongoing work to enhance and protect the integrity of the driver license and identification card issuance process,” PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said.

PennDOT is piloting the new products at the Summerdale Driver License Center in Enola beginning September 12, 2022. All Driver and Photo centers will transition to the new products by mid-November 2022. The new products will be phased in over the next four-year renewal cycle and will replace existing products. The new products will be phased in during renewal cycles and will replace existing products. Both current and new card designs will be in circulation during the transition period.

Both standard and REAL ID compliant products will use the new design and security features. REAL ID is optional in Pennsylvania, and customers are able to opt into REAL ID. Beginning May 3, 2023, Pennsylvanians will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, photo ID card, or another form of federally acceptable identification (such as a valid passport or military ID) to board a domestic commercial flight or enter a federal building or military installation that requires ID. More information about REAL ID can be on the REAL ID page on the Driver and Vehicle Services website.

The cards look different and have additional enhanced security features that improve fraud prevention and protect from counterfeiting and alteration.

  • Guilloche Security Design, a feature that includes sophisticated techniques to embed a variety of customized security patterning into the credential, using non-commercial software developed specifically for high security documents (banknotes, passports, ID cards, etc);
  • Optically Variable Ghost Portrait and Variable Data with UV, features that change their appearance when the viewing angle of the card changes, which moves them from fully visible to non-visible. The card also includes an ultraviolet (UV) response that fluoresces under UV lighting. The UV response is fixed – visible under UV light regardless of viewing angle;
  • Dynamic Look Through Element (DLTE), a dynamic feature with gold metallic tint that is visible under direct lighting.