Flags on Driver’s Licenses

What is one thing that nearly everyone has that associates them with where they live? If you answered a driver’s license, then we are on the same page. However, after examining most United States driver’s licenses, we found a glaring commonality. Most state licenses don’t incorporate their state flag design and the reason behind this is not clearly stated. However, there are a few reasons why flags appear on driver’s licenses. Keep in mind that the driver’s licenses shown below are samples, not actual.

Recently, the United Kingdom started producing driving licenses with both the European Union and United Kingdom flags. The UK had previously been only displaying the European Union flag on UK driving licenses. What’s the reason behind the change? A transportation executive in the UK stated that “We are bringing the country together. Adding our national flag to British driving licenses is a true celebration of one nation Britain”. The Union Jack flag is one of the most famous flags in the world, and incorporating it on a driver’s license seems like a no-brainer.

Image of a UK drivers licence.

In the United States, there are a few reasons why the American flag might appear on a state driver’s license. In the image below, you can see a sample driver’s license for someone living in Pennsylvania. In the bottom right corner you will see the American flag with the word “Veteran” beneath it. This veteran designation has become more popular on state licenses in recent years.

Image of a Pennsylvania drivers license.

The second example of an American flag on a driver’s license is shown below. In this example a person living in Michigan was issued an Enhanced Commercial Driver License (CDL). In some states, a CDL will incorporate the American flag. Most people who have a CDL drive semi trucks, and the American flag on their driver’s license helps border patrol determine the legitimacy of the license.

Image of a Michigan CDL drivers license.

Credit: UK Government

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