Several states introduce digital driver’s licenses, government IDs


TAMPA, Fla. (NBC News) – You can use your phone to make calls, purchase items and groceries, and now to prove your identity.

Mobile IDs are rolling out in ten states this year. Currently, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Maryland, Wyoming and the District of Columbia are doing limited trials of digital driver’s licenses. Iowa and Louisiana are planning to issue them to every motorist who wants one beginning this year.

Leading the charge is IDEMIA, the company that currently controls about 80 percent of drivers licenses.

Biometric authentication ensures only you can access your ID and there are special characteristics to prevent spoofs.

During a traffic stop, officers could simply ping your phone to verify your ID.

“They can do that without you having to hand over your device,” says IDEMIA’s Matthew Thompson.

As much as everyone loves visiting the DMV, more mobile functionality could mean you have to go there less often.

Still, there are roadblocks to adoption and the chance that some citizens could get left behind.

“Some folks don’t have smartphones, some folks can’t afford smartphones,” notes CNET’s Roger Cheng.

The digital IDs also need to be universally accepted across state lines.

For more information on what these new digital driver’s licenses could mean for motorists, please visit NBC’s website.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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