Mobile Driver’s Licenses Pave the Way for Unified Digital IDs
(GovTech) – The COVID-19 pandemic has provided momentum for all things digital and remote. For instance, in health care it led to the rapid adoption of telehealth, which had struggled for years to gain widespread acceptance.
In motor vehicle regulation, the pandemic accelerated what has been a gradual transition to serving customers remotely. “The evolution of mobile driver’s licenses and the recognition of being able to do transactions without exchanging a physical document certainly fits within that,” said Ian Grossman, vice president of member services and public affairs for the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). “Being able to empower customers to have a credential that they can use in a transaction where they’re not passing back and forth a physical document has been further accelerated by the pandemic.”
Arizona rolled out its mobile driver’s license (mDL) app in March 2021. Eric Jorgensen, director of Arizona’s Department of Transportation, is leading his state’s nascent mDL initiative. He wants to make clear, however, that the state has its sights set on something much bigger.
A 2020 white paper by an industry consortium called the Secure Technology Alliance highlights some of the reasons states are intrigued by mobile IDs, described as a “new way of cryptographically verifying identity.”
“The person who holds the mDL controls what information is shared and with whom,” the report noted. “In addition, mDLs support more efficient and secure transactions. For in-person transactions, electronic authentication can give the mDL verifier confidence in the presented ID without requiring specialized knowledge of the hundreds of card design and security features applicable to the driver’s licenses (and their variants) that are issued by 56 states and territories. The mDL can also eventually be used to increase security for online purchases and interactions.” Read Full Article >