When I went to renew my driver’s license, I was told my immigration card is the “old format”. I thought the immigration card was “permanent” –

why do I need to get the new one?

Yes. For many people who have been here since before 2012, they received the “polaroid” immigration card (especially if they received the pensionado visa).  This card has no expiration date.  But, while it is true that the card does not expire, since 2012 the immigration department has been replacing these cards with new plastic cards and have been asking that everyone pick up their new card.