The Alabama Department of Revenue has become one of the first state agencies to move forward with a mobile ID program, thanks to a collaboration with IDEMIA.
The project got underway in earnest last spring, when the companies launched a pilot program aimed at using facial recognition and document reading software to let citizens create virtual IDs on the smartphones. A user takes a selfie and captures images of her driver’s license or state-issued ID, and then uploads those images to the app, with biometric software then used to match the user’s face to that on the ID document. With the user’s identity thus verified, taxes can be filed to state authorities directly through the mobile device.
Now, a finished version of the Alabama eID app is now available on the iOS App Store and Google Play.
While Alabama eID offers citizens a convenient means of paying their taxes, in a statement announcing its official launch, Alabama Department of Revenue Commissioner Vernon Barnett framed it primarily as a security mechanism, asserting, “We’re proud Alabama is leading the nation in securing its residents identities against state income tax fraud.” But Barnett also added that individuals who use the app will be entitled to “priority processing and expedited issuance of their refund.”