California’s Department of Motor Vehicles is inviting up to 1.5 million people to participate in a pilot of its mobile driver’s license (mDL).
Available through a dedicated mobile app, the digital credential can be used as official ID at a limited number of retail locations and airports, with plans to expand its utility in the future. A handful of convenience stores are participating in the pilot through support for the mDL’s “TruAge” system, which lets end users confirm that they are of age for age-restricted purchases by presenting a QR code through their mDL app.
The mDL’s enrollment process further reinforces a growing trend of selfie-based identity verification, prompting the end user to take a selfie and to submit photos of their physical driver’s license. A demonstration video released by the California DMV appears to show an automated verification process — presumably one that uses facial recognition to match the user’s selfie to their ID.
It is not yet clear which vendor or vendors provided California’s mDL technology, but it may be worth noting that French multinational IDEMIA renewed its relationship with the California government last year, signing a 12-year agreement to continue providing services related to California driver’s licenses — including services “beyond the production of physical ID cards.” IDEMIA has provided mobile driver’s license technologies for other states including Arizona, Delaware, Mississippi, and Oklahoma.
The pilot’s launch comes after the California DMV’s Chief Digital Transformation Officer, Ajay Gupta, suggested his agency was headed toward a late-summer trial earlier this year.
August 21, 2023 – by Alex Perala