The past week has brought a number of developments pointing to the ongoing ascent of mobile identity in particular and digital identity more broadly, as momentum in the digital ID shift picks up across the United States.
First there was the news that North Carolina’s Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner, Wayne Goodwin, is orchestrating a push to get the state’s legislature to authorize the development of a mobile driver’s license system. Speaking to WCNC Charlotte, the Commissioner called the MDL concept a secure way for citizens to hold and selectively share personal data, adding that it is “even more secure than your hard copy because it depends upon facial recognition”.
Commissioner Goodwin said his team had been trying to inform state legislators about the benefits of mobile ID technology, and that he is hoping to see MDL legislation passed this session.
Next came the news that a Pennsylvania lawmaker is looking to get that state on the mobile driver’s license bandwagon, with plans to introduce a bill that would clear the way for its launch. Rep. Dan Miller (D-Allegheny) has tried to pass such legislation before, but is hoping that a new bill modelled on Louisiana’s MDL law will be passed in the first half of 2023 and lead to real virtual IDs within a year after that.
For its part, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation told CBS News that it’s already working on an MDL, but acknowledged that it “will need enabling legislation to offer this as an optional product” for Pennsylvanians.
These legislative efforts show the considerable momentum that the MDL concept now has in America. Meanwhile, from the state of New York came the news that several government agencies are currently testing a new digital ID solution aimed at making it easier for residents to access online services.
Dubbed “NY.gov ID+”, the solution is meant to replace a number of disparate login systems currently used for access to different agencies. The system’s development is tied to a broader effort, led by Governor Kathy Hochul, to revamp government services, with plans to build out the state’s web design team and make online services more user-friendly and accessible.
That doesn’t necessarily point to a mobile identity system, but it certainly would open the door to one, given the scope of the effort to create a single digital credential for use in interactions with government entities. That is essentially what a mobile ID is, so this may be a sign that New York is also starting to head down a digital identity path that leads to MDL technology in the future.