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digital drivers license

Drivers licenses follow the campus IDs' move to mobile credentials

CampusIDNews Staff   ||   Jul 14, 2023  ||   

While campuses have been migrating physical cards to mobile devices, states are following suit offering digital drivers licenses. Numerous DMVs are in the process of replacing physical drivers licenses with mobile credentials.

In 2021, Apple announced that it would support the addition of government issued IDs, like licenses, to iPhones. According to a 9to5Mac.com article, only a few states are storing IDs in Apple Wallet but many more are storing them in dedicated apps on the phone.

Like the campus card market’s rollout of mobile credentials in Wallet, the benefits are similar for drivers licenses. The license holder taps the phone and the ID is read quickly, conveniently, and securely by an NFC reader. Additionally, it can be provisioned, renewed, and revoked over the air without the need to visit a DMVoffice.

When the ID is stored in Apple Wallet there is no need to open an app or take additional steps to present the ID. Like the campus mobile credential, holding the phone near the reader is all that is required. And, like campus credentials, the ID can be read even when the phone’s battery is out of power.

So what states are issuing digital drivers licenses? Today, only four have launched in Wallet – Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, and Georgia. These IDs can be used at select TSA checkpoints at:

  • Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
  • Denver International Airport (DEN).

States offering drivers licenses in mobile apps include:

  • Arizona
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Oklahoma
  • Utah.

Uses include law enforcement applications, ID proofing at airports and other locations, and age verification for alcohol and tobacco purchases.

For any of these use cases, a benefit of the digital ID is that only the personal information required for the specific transaction is presented. For example, when entering a bar, the patron’s mobile ID only tells the bouncer’s NFC reader the he or she is over the age of 21. The patron’s name and home address are not shared as they are not required for the transaction.

More mobile licenses should be coming soon as legislation has already passed or is being considered in many states. A new international standard will also expedite adoption.

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