Government authorities in California are exploring the possibility of mobile driver’s licenses, according to a new report.
It’s part of a growing trend. Iowa officials launched a mobile driver’s license pilot toward the end of last year, and Mississippi announced a mobile ID-focused partnership with IDEMIA in November. IDEMIA also worked with the Transportation Security Administration(TSA) to enable scanning of Apple’s mobile driver’s licenses at the Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, earlier this year.
Around the same time, IDEMIA renewed its driver’s license provisioning contract with the state of California, in a new, 12-year arrangement that would extend “beyond the production of physical ID cards,” the company did not specifically mention mobile driver’s licenses in its announcement of the contract award.
Now, it appears that California’s Department of Motor Vehicles is actively exploring the technology. As the Los Angeles Times reports, state legislators gave the DMV official authorization to trial mobile IDs last year. Responding to an inquiry from the Times, the DMV has now confirmed that it is “talking to multiple vendors about possible approaches” to the technology.
The details are scant, and the DMV says it does not currently have a planned launch date for mobile driver’s licenses. But considering that the agency has already contracted at least one vendor to provide driver’s license services, and that the vendor in question has actively worked with multiple other states on mobile ID projects, and that the DMV is currently in discussions with vendors about how to design a mobile driver’s license program, it appears to be a distinct possibility that the state of California will be among the next in line to launch such a digital ID program.
The aforementioned state legislation authorizing the DMV to pursue this technology offers some hints about what California’s digital ID program will look like – or rather what it will not look like. It will not feature a data tracking component, and it will not subject users to the possibility of warrantless searches of their mobile devices. Nor will the app be authorized to share information beyond what is included on the user’s physical driver’s license or ID.
And when the DMV is ready to proceed with a mobile driver’s license trial, it will not be permitted to include more than 0.5 percent of the state’s licensed drivers in it, and all participants must be volunteers.
According to the Times, last year’s legislation gave the DMV a one-year window to develop a timeline and cost estimate for a mobile driver’s license pilot, so further information could materialize within a matter of months.
Source: Los Angeles Times