Drivers License Magnetic Stripe Information

Just what is on the magnetic stripe?

The magnetic stripe on your drivers license or ID card contains the same information that is printed on the front of the license.  Most states follow the standards promulgated by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA).  This format uses all three tracks available on a magnetic stripe.  Those tracks containing the following information:

Track 1 - city, state, name, address

Tract 2 - ISO identifier (issued to the state), license number, expiration date, birthdate

Track 3 - Zip code, license class, restrictions, endorsements, gender, height, weight, hair color, eye color

The magnetic stripe does not contain any fingerprint information or your social security number - unless your state uses that as your drivers license number.


What states are using magnetic stripes?

For a list of of states using magnetic stripes, bar codes, and images of sample licenses, see this table.


How do you read the magnetic stripe?

The same type of readers that are used for credit cards can be used to read drivers licenses.  The primary difference is that license use all three tracks of data while credit cards, and credit card readers, typically use only one or two tracks.


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