Digital Driver's Licenses Are Coming Soon! What does this mean to you?

by Lisa on April 17, 2015

Digital driver’s licenses, or, put another way, your license on your smart phone, will be a new DMV feature within the next five years. Delaware announced in January, 2015 they are working hard to be the first state to offer this feature, and 40 other states are also exploring the option. The DDL will be an additional optional feature, as a traditional hand-held license will still be issued.

The main advantage the Department of Transportation is seeking from this additional feature is security. A 2012 study by the Government Accountability Office found that fraudulent licenses could be created through weaknesses in state systems, primarily the ability to identify forged birth certificates and other methods of identity theft.

Moving towards a digital driver’s license will also help driver’s complete their “digital wallet”. With the creation of services like Apple Pay, more and more people are keeping all of their credit cards on their phone. With the addition of a digital driver’s license, driver’s can now keep all of their “plastic” on their phone, eliminating the need for a wallet.

MorphoTrust, the company responsible for delivering TSA pre-check technology, among a host of identify services to various government agencies, is currently working on completing and piloting the technology.

The DDL will require facial, fingerprint or voice recognition in addition to a personal code. In this sense, the DDL will provide far more security than a traditional driver’s license.

Some groups have expressed privacy concerns with a government app that might be collecting more information than consumers would wish. MorphoTrust is working on an app feature that locks the DDL on the screen, so an officer or other person checking ID would not be able to search freely on a person’s phone.

While concerns have been raised, MorphoTrust is working diligently with appropriate government entities to resolve those concerns. We predict the increased security and overall ease of use of DDL will pave the way over concerns, and you will have the option for a DDL of your own within the next five years.

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