| Heather Vescent

iOS 15 was supposed to include the first set of mobile driver’s licenses launched in partnership with 8 states. Now Apple’s mobile driver’s license launch is delayed. Late last year, various articles surfaced concerns about Apple’s contract with state governments, specifically regarding who was paying for them (governments, aka taxpayers) and who had control over the launch (Apple).

Now, I don’t think Apple is a bad company. They build some of the most secure, usable, beautiful technology, at scale. Of all the big tech companies, Apple has been the most successful in creating a functional and adopted mobile wallet (not to mention porting that tech to your wrist). The Apple wallet has between 45 to 50 percent of the payment wallet market share with an estimated $90 billion in transactions conducted in 2021. Apple’s success here is no small feat and should be celebrated. They really have no competition even if Apple wallet exists as a value add to keep the iPhone competitive.

The Government perspective

Governments exist to fulfill the needs of their citizens, and unlike private corporations, do not have the luxury of focusing on a target market. Governments must provide services for ALL citizens and do this with a constantly challenged public sector budget. (I don’t recall reading any articles about folks offering to willingly pay more taxes to give the government bigger budgets.)

Governments use a competitive market to get the best technology at the best price for their use cases.

For a competitive technology market to work, the technology has to interoperate or at least use the same underlying technology standards. Governments like standards because standards set a baseline for interoperability, reducing the fear of vendor lock-in. Vendor lock-in happens when you are stuck using a specific vendor’s technology because it is too expensive to switch to a competitor. Technology standards create a common language that companies can use to create competing technology solutions.

Often the government will fund the development of standards, and solutions built on standards, in order to jumpstart a new market. The government benefits from these investments by creating new competitive markets which they (the government) benefit from as well as the private sector. This is one way the government supports capitalist market innovation in the U.S.

Let’s talk about Standards

ISO 18013-5 is the recent standard for mobile driver’s licenses (mDLs), it specifies technology used to share the mobile driver’s license data once it is in a digital wallet. But it isn’t the only standard that supports the kind of government-issued verified credentials similar to mDLs–the user-centric digital identity community has explored this use case for over a decade. And the ISO standard doesn’t cover provisioning the mDL from the government issuer (the state DMV) into the mobile wallet.

The 1.0 release of a product rarely satisfies everyone’s requirements. That’s why ISO 18013-7 is under development to standardize additional mDL transport modes and capabilities. There’s an opportunity to explore collaboration and co-leveraging between the work at ISO and other standards like the Verifiable Credentials Data Model 1.1 at the W3C. But there is still the problem of a technology standard that state governments can use to issue mobile drivers licenses to wallets. In the case of Apple, state governments must use Apple’s proprietary technology to get their data into the wallet – which is also hardware bound. I have to wonder; how do taxpayers feel about funding mDLs only for the Apple Wallet?

Last year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) asked for public comments on minimal requirements for mobile driver’s licenses. Apple, EFF, the Iowa DOT, American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, biometrics providers Idemia and Tech5, and 56 others (62 in total) submitted comments, showing that indeed, ISO 18013-5 is just the beginning of a longer conversation.

While Apple’s tech supports the ISO standard, in theory, many of us in the industry don’t know what that means in practicality. Will Apple support later ISO standards? What about future provisioning standards? I’m personally concerned about Apple’s appetite to use future standards based on their behavior with another W3C standard in development that is tied to Verified Credentials – the DID Spec. In the case of the DID Spec, Apple lobbed an objection at the last hour, dramatically diverging from the published standardization process. This has, in effect, obstructed the release of a community-created standard that would support a new competitive marketplace.

Apple is already pretty much the only commercially successful player in the digital wallet world so far. There is very real concern that they could use their power to obstruct or at least influence mobile drivers license standards to their benefit. We would be naive to assume anything different.

About the author

Heather Vescent is a digital identity industry thought leader and futurist with more than a decade of experience delivering strategic intelligence consulting to governments, corporations, and entrepreneurs. Vescent’s research has been covered in the New York Times, CNN, American Banker, CNBC, Fox, and the Atlantic. She is co-author of The Secrets of Spies, The Cyber Attack Survival Manual, and The Comprehensive Guide to Self-Sovereign Identity.

Canadian province Quebec is considering the possibility of including documents issued by private companies, such as proof of insurance, in its upcoming digital identity infrastructure. The upcoming digital wallet will also support device-based biometrics, such as facial recognition or fingerprint recognition, to unlock the digital ID.

Scheduled for launch in 2025, the digital identity wallet will include identity documents issued by the Quebec government, including health insurance cards, birth certificates, and driver’s license’s.

According to leSoleil, the Quebec government is in discussions with financial institutions to assess the possibility of including non-government documents.

“We want to be able to integrate documents in our Quebec identity system that are not necessarily government documents,” Eric Caire, minister of Cybersecurity and Digital Technology told leSoleil, as translated by Google.

At the same time, Caire explained, the new digital ID should not include citizens’ social insurance numbers (SIN, the equivalent of Americans’ social security number), which the minister believes should be gradually discontinued from the system altogether.

From a security standpoint, the minister said it is absolutely essential for the upcoming digital identity to be strongly protected against malicious actors and cyberattacks, particularly in light of the recent security breaches concerning the launch of the vaccine passport in the country.

“With the vaccination passport, the objective was to deploy it quickly […] The digital wallet must be much more secure than the vaccination passport. We have time to do it and we have to do something that […] must be much safer [to use].”

The use of biometrics will be optional for those with the technology at their disposal.

“We have the infrastructure so that we can use biometrics,” Caire said in French. “From there, I would tell you that it is up to the citizens to decide if they are comfortable using it.”

Quebecers hope that the plan is based on a sound understanding of the practical requirements, but a new report casts doubt on how common that understanding is among government officials.

Global report suggests senior officials’ understanding of digital ID lacking

A new report from Global Government Forum (GGF) and Kevin Cunnington, former director-general of the UK’s Government Digital Service, suggested several opportunities whereby ‘central digital chiefs’ could learn from one another and overcome existing barriers to digital transformation.

Based on interviews with seven national digital leaders, the report initially warns that departmental leaders and ministers often lack the technical understanding to drive digital transformation, as most of them come from political and policy backgrounds.

These individuals, the report reads, have “spent their entire careers being reflexively liability-conscious and risk-averse – because that’s how they got to be [departmental leaders].”

They also “know that their organizations should be more user-centered and more agile, but they’re not quite sure what that means and they don’t understand how to get there – given the way they’ve been taught to do business and all the other pressures in their world.”

However, the report adds that through the creation of strong digital ID systems and high-quality, cross-government data management initiatives these obstacles can be overcome.

These goals can be achieved, the GGF research said, by enabling sharing and matching data on individuals across government departments, addressing any discrepancies between their datasets, and giving citizens a single, secure, online access point.

“Given an agreed way to match up the data they hold around citizens or organizations, for example, departments can develop a much fuller picture of service users’ situations, needs, and behavior – ‘personalizing’ and automating services, improving coordination, and strengthening preventive work.”

A new biometric-based digital identity system dubbed NIS, currently being developed in South Africa, will go a long way in enhancing access to a variety of services for citizens and other foreign nations living in the country, according to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA).

The DHA writes in an official notice that the ID system, which is expected to be in place by March 2024, will not only trigger economic transformation for the country but will also ensure the security of citizens and expatriates. It is also expected to reduce incidents of fraud as well as boost digital government and business transactions.

A new biometric-based digital identity system dubbed NIS, currently being developed in South Africa, will go a long way in enhancing access to a variety of services for citizens and other foreign nations living the country, according to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA).

The DHA writes in an official notice that the ID system, which is expected to be in place by March 2024, will not only trigger economic transformation for the country but will also ensure the security of citizens and expatriates. It is also expected to reduce incidents of fraud as well as boost digital government and business transactions.

“The department is in the process of implementing a single integrated source of biographic and biometric information – to make digital service delivery a seamless reality. The current disparate civic and immigration systems will produce secure data that will feed into the NIS according to an identity management policy and an updated identification Act. Under this system, all processes – the registration of births, marriages and deaths – will be digitized and secured,” the DHA said in a statement quoted by Business Tech.

The report recalls that the NIS, being developed to replace the current National Population Register, is part of the country’s ten-year digital transformation plan and “will be enabled by robust integrated backend systems and modern network infrastructure, which in turn will enable all DHA front-end processes and alignment with all related government systems.”

Among other things, the new digital ID system will enable digital processes for issuing birth, marriage and death certificates; the use of modified screening procedures at e-gates at high volume land points of entry for pre-approved frequent travellers; and a single platform for the adjudication of permits and visas, Business Tech writes.

The DHA has assured the system will phase out some of the challenges citizens have often faced in accessing certain services and will be able to also enjoy people-centric services.

‘Smart card’ driving licenses may roll out this year

Meanwhile, it is likely that a new design for driving licenses in South Africa will become operational in the course of this year if the cabinet okays a proposal that will be submitted to it, Business Tech reveals in a separate article.

The report attributes this development to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula who says these plans started last year when government initiated the move to replace the current laminated driving licenses with ‘smart card’ versions.

The Driving License Card Account (DLCA) – the body in charge of producing licenses in South Africa – is quoted as saying the new document will be designed with new technology and will meet international standards in the domain.

“The introduction of the new driving license involves a new design of the driving license card and the re-engineering of processes to allow for agility and focus on delivering services efficiently and quickly. The project will allow for the adoption of digital technologies such as blockchain and other related technologies which will form the platform an integrated transport system,” says the DCLA in a statement.

The DCLA has voiced plans of equally introducing an electronic driving license in the future.

The current driving license issuance system in South Africa, however, is already reported to be experiencing technical issues, which have led to nearly 400,000 licenses not being printed.

Last year, South Africa also launched a tender seeking a biometric provider to manage its tax-payer system


Passengers will be able to verify their ID via Wallet at TSA checkpoints at two US airports

Air passengers with Apple devices will soon be able to verify their identity at Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints at two US airports by presenting a digital ID document such as their mobile driving licence (mDL) or state ID stored in Wallet.

The TSA is to begin trialling the use of Apple digital IDs as part of a pilot programme that will roll out to airports in “two additional states around March of 2022”, enabling travellers to tap their Apple device on an NFC reader or use a QR scanner to initiate an automated identity verification process.

“Standards-based digital IDs, such as state-issued mDL, will help streamline and secure the identity verification process,” the TSA told a Secure Technology Alliance event, where it confirmed it would be launching a “phased rollout, with mDL Apple Wallet integration being its first step”.

“Instead of TSA staff examining a physical ID card, manually comparing a traveller’s ID photo to their face and verifying flight information, a machine will automate the process,” the TSA said.

“Travellers will simply tap an NFC reader or use a QR scanner to initiate the data exchange.

“A TSA staff member will be present to oversee and validate the verification process.”


Apple announced that TSA airport security checkpoints would be among the first locations to support the use of digital ID credentials stored in Wallet when it originally unveiled the feature in June last year, and confirmed in September that users would soon be able to present their driving licence or state ID to the TSA by tapping their iPhone or Apple Watch at an identity reader.

Apple has also updated its Wallet page to confirm that, in addition to mDLs and digital state IDs, it is adding support for digital employee IDs and corporate passes that will enable users “to badge into the office, get access to the fitness center — even pay for a meal at the company café” with their iPhone or Apple Watch in “early 2022”.

Eight US states — Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah — have so far confirmed that they are planning to roll out Apple digital IDs early this year after an earlier launch due in late 2021 was postponed.

Memorandums of agreement between Apple and some of those US states released in November 2021 revealed that Apple retains control over when the service launches in any given territory.

Tue, December 14, 2021, 8:59 AM

ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Dec. 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mobile driver’s licenses are gaining traction in at least 30 U.S. states. The progress exemplifies that the transition from physical driver’s licenses is well underway, and the future of identification documents is digital. On the heels of these advancements, the Secure Technology Alliance celebrates the success of its first Mobile Driver’s License (mDL) Workshop, which occurred in conjunction with an American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) and ISO-led regional mDL testing event

Leaders in identification, authentication, standards development and relying parties converged at the workshop to emphasize burgeoning mobile driver’s license pilot programs and the importance of the new ISO/IEC standard 18013-5 in the advancement of digital identification.

“Smartphones carry everything, from payment cards to precious photos. It is only natural that the devices are becoming a platform for storing identity credentials too,” said Christine Nizer, administrator of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and chair of the AAMVA International Board of Directors who delivered the mDL Workshop’s keynote address. “The success of mobile driver’s licenses depends on stakeholders and relying parties banding together to create an mDL environment that is convenient and secure for the end user.”

The pace of mDL adoption has tripled in 2021, according to GET Group North America, positioning the technology as a natural evolution from physical cards. A mobile driver’s license is a digital representation of the information contained on a physical driver’s license or ID card moved onto a mobile device, such as a smartphone, for the citizen to control. mDLs offer enhanced security by requiring a cryptographic protocol that assures verifiers that the mDL or mID was issued by a trusted authority, such as a Department of Motor Vehicles. For this reason, you never “show” your mDL on a phone screen to anyone. This cryptographic mechanism also prevents alteration of the digital ID, eliminating the threat of counterfeit credentials. The secure verification process kicks off with just an NFC tap or QR scan.

ISO/IEC 18013-5 standard sets the stage for widespread mDL implementation

Across the mDL Workshop’s various panels and sessions, industry stakeholders acknowledged the ISO/IEC 18013-5 standard as a critical milestone in the efforts to advance mobile driver’s license adoption. The standard, which establishes clear guidance and secure, interoperable specifications for the implementation of mDLs and mobile IDs, was published in September of this year. It empowers relying parties including retailers, transportation networks, financial institutions and government agencies to confidently deploy mDL and mID readers.

Alongside ISO, AAMVA, the lead coordination body for US and Canadian motor vehicle agencies, has made great strides to encourage expanded mDL adoption.

During the mDL Workshop speakers representing AAMVA underscored the following efforts:

  • Plans to publish updated mDL Implementation Guidelines to support the new ISO standard
  • The success of its North American mDL interoperability test event, hosted by the Alliance in conjunction with the mDL Workshop.
  • The development of AAMVA’s Digital Trust Service, which will serve as a one-stop shop for relying parties seeking to access the public keys of issuing authorities. The service will establish trust in the mDL verification process

During the workshop many industry speakers agreed that Apple’s recent plan to integrate ISO/IEC 18013-5 mobile driver’s licenses into its Wallet app has garnered significant media attention for the mDL movement.

Mobile driver’s licenses take flight: The TSA use case

The workshop brought together speakers from several states and participating agencies. They shared valuable information from mDL pilot programs which are paramount in moving implementation forward. Driver’s licenses are often the primary documents people keep on hand to verify their age and identity. Their significance stretches far beyond driving credentials.

Surveys show that travel is the number one use case people are interested in for mDL. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is in agreement and it fully supports the mDL movement for travel authentication. TSA is preparing to begin its phased rollout, with mDL Apple Wallet integration being its first step, which will allow select security checkpoints in participating airports to be the first locations people can use their mDL in the Wallet app.

During a panel about early mDL adoption, TSA shared its plans to begin accepting mDL use in airports at two state locations starting February of next year. The pilot program will add two additional states around March of 2022. TSA says standards-based digital ID’s, such as state-issued mDL will help streamline and secure the identity verification process. Instead of TSA staff examining a physical ID card, manually comparing a traveler’s ID photo to their face, and verifying flight information, a machine will automate the process. Travelers will simply tap an NFC reader or use a QR scanner to initiate the data exchange. A TSA staff member will be present to oversee and validate the verification process.

The Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration intend to update the REAL ID Act implementing regulation to accommodate the regulatory changes necessary to enable travelers’ use of mobile identity documents consistent with requirements in the Act. Federal rulemaking is a deliberative process that generally requires years to complete.

TSA’s discussion held much interest to airports, automobile rental, and related organizations participating in the workshop as they begin the process of considering mDLs within airport use cases and beyond.

mDL in the real world: Utah’s early adoption breakthrough

Several states including Utah, Maryland, Virginia and Louisiana have conducted pilots or have begun using mobile driver’s licenses for age-based transactions such as purchasing alcohol and certain medications. It is also being used at event concessions, in financial institutions like banks and more. The Secure Technology Alliance has developed a first-of-its kind mDL implementation map to track momentum in the U.S. and Canada. It can be found on the mDL Connection website.

Utah is experiencing significant success with its mDL pilot program, which launched in June. According to a speaker representing the state of Utah, 200 people enrolled in the pilot the first day. That number has since grown to 2,000 participants and the state hopes to extend mDLs to 10,000 participants total.

Utah attributes the following strategic decisions to its thriving mDL pilot:

  • The state reached out to relying parties, including local businesses, prior to building Utah’s mDL to find out what steps must be taken to ensure the mDLs work with existing systems
  • The state held events which showcased real-world transactions to raise consumer interest
  • The state notifies media outlets when new businesses agree to accept mDLs under the pilot program
  • The state partnered with grocery stores and Utah Community Credit Union to highlight the security and privacy benefits of MDL for age-based transactions and financial fraud prevention

Since launching the pilot, Utah says its participants have expressed a desire to use their mDLs beyond the program’s scope. mDL holders have even attempted to use their digital ID during traffic stops, and at bars and restaurants that are not currently participating in the pilot.

Next steps: The future of mobile driver’s licenses:

Payments industry professionals, technology builders, merchants and government stakeholders came together at the mDL Workshop to identify priorities for the future of mobile driver’s licenses. A speaker with the Merchant Advisory Group (MAG) highlighted the potential safety benefits of mDL for age-based purchases. With mDL, technology would decide whether a customer is authorized to make the purchase instead of the potentially vulnerable frontline worker. MAG also expressed interest in leveraging mDLs to streamline and strengthen the ID verification process for buy online, pick up in store transactions with the expectation that a stronger authentication at the point of pickup means increased approvals and less fraud.

The American Car Rental Association (ACRA) and the National Notary Association (NNA) also presented prospective mDL use cases. ACRA detailed how mDLs may be used to securely confirm a driver’s identity and any potential driving restrictions during a rental car pick up. mDL could expand capabilities for unattended rental car use cases by enabling an automated safe ID verification process without an attendant present to physically verify the customer’s driver’s license. Regarding notarization, the NNA highlighted an mDLs ability to enhance certainty during both in-person and remote proofing processes.

In the payments space, a Mastercard representative suggested utilizing mDLs to create safe, unattended payment experiences. For example, POS devices could combine age verification with a contactless payment in the future so consumers can make frictionless age-restricted purchases. Lastly, the payment network SHAZAM suggests that mDLs may become an important authentication factor in support of the recent e-commerce boom by integrating digital identity verification with remote payments such as “one-click” checkout. Overall, the goal is to create a frictionless consumer experience with mobile driver’s licenses.

To participate in ongoing mDL implementation efforts and other Alliance activities, visit the Alliance website for information on membership. The experience of Alliance members spans standards development; product development, testing and certification; app and service providers; integrators; relying parties and regulators across both public and private sectors. Their efforts include the development of mDL Connection, a community resource for mDL awareness, education and coordination activities.

About the Secure Technology Alliance
The Secure Technology Alliance is the digital security industry’s premier association. The Alliance brings together leading providers and adopters of end-to-end security solutions designed to protect privacy and digital assets in payments, mobile, identity and access, healthcare, transportation and the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) markets.

The Alliance’s mission is to stimulate understanding, adoption and widespread application of connected digital solutions based on secure chip and other technologies and systems needed to protect data, enable secure authentication and facilitate commerce.

The Alliance is driven by its U.S.-focused member companies. They collaborate by sharing expertise and industry best practices through industry and technology councils, focused events, educational resources, industry outreach, advocacy, training and certification programs. Through participation in the breadth of Alliance activities, members strengthen personal and organizational networks and take away the insights to build the business strategies needed to commercialize secure products and services in this dynamic environment. For more information, please visit (->

Washington DC's city council has approved the use of digital driver's licenses and IDs, joining Arizona, Georgia and other states, The Washington Post has reported. That gives the district's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) the authority to issue digital credentials that can be stored on a smartphone or other mobile device. They could then be presented for entering government buildings, to purchase liquor or in case of police stops, for example. 

Digital IDs and driver's licenses strongly entered the public conversation in September, when Apple announced that Wallet would hold driver's licenses and other IDs in iOS 15. The TSA was slated to be the first place iPhone owners could use their digital identity cards, and Apple subsequently announced that Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky and Oklahoma would be early adopters of the program. Last month, however, Apple said it would delay the release of digital ID cards until 2022, rather than the end of 2021 as scheduled.

Washington DC residents will have the option of using physical or digital credentials and will not be required to show a digital ID on a mobile device. The bill passage brings the city "a step closer to the reality of digital credentials," DC DMV director Gabriel Robinson told The Post. The DMV must now create a plan to to develop the credentials once the legislation is signed into law. 

Tue, December 7, 2021, 10:01 AM·3 min read

Waltham, Massachusetts, Salt Lake City, Utah --News Direct-- GET Group North America

GET Group North America and The Utah Driver License Division (DLD) jointly announced today that the Midtown Community Health Center of Ogden will now accept mobile driver’s licenses (mDLs) for pharmacy transactions as part of the state’s mDL pilot. Utah is the first state in the U.S. to pilot an mDL that is fully compliant with international standards that ensure citizens can use their mDL globally as a legal form of identification.

Mobile driver’s licenses provide a contactless “Tap & Go” ID transaction. Authenticating a patient’s ID without the need for a physical credential or their mobile device to change hands increases safety for both the pharmacist and their patient. Additionally, a mobile driver’s license gives an mDL holder greater control over their identity data than can be achieved with physical cards. While traditional physical identity documents provide verifiers access to all the citizen’s personal information, mobile ID utilizes data minimization which allows the mDL holder to only share the data required to complete the specific transaction.

“When it comes to pharmacy transactions, it is essential that we can ensure an ID has not been tampered with so that only the intended recipient is obtaining the prescribed medications,” said Braden Mitchell, pharmacy director, Midtown Community Health Center. “We’re excited to be working with the state of Utah and GET Group North America to embrace the future of Mobile IDs and ensure we’ll be able to best serve our patients, protect their privacy, and reduce fraud.”

Utah’s ISO 18013-5-compliant mDLs are an optional, trustworthy, official, government-issued driver’s license/ID on a mobile phone. The DLD e-signs the data and puts it under the control of the citizen, to be used via electronic transfer – a “Tap & Go” or “Scan & Go” interaction. Pharmacists (or any verifier) can authenticate eSignatures to immediately ensure the data is authoritative and not tampered with.

“We’re excited to see the mDL ecosystem – both in Utah and nationally – continuing to grow and we’re very pleased to have Midtown Community Health Center participating in the state’s pilot,” said Alex Kambanis, Managing Director of GET Group North America. “We look forward to working with Utah DLD to support the clinic with technology to securely, contactlessly and unequivocally confirm IDs for pharmacy purchases.”

Citizens are invited to enroll for their own mDL on Wednesday, December 15th from 3-6pm at the Midtown Community Health Center Ogden clinic (2240 Adams Ave in Ogden Utah). A valid Utah driver’s license is required for mDL registration.

Midtown Community Health Center of Ogden offers patients of all ages and backgrounds comprehensive primary healthcare services including well care, prenatal care, pediatrics, immunizations, women’s health, geriatrics, and treatment for acute and chronic illnesses. It is one of 13 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) across the state.

Dec 6, 2021 | Jim Nash

The District of Columbia appears likely to approve voluntary digital licenses for its residents who drive.

Bill 24-043 has progressed unanimously beyond its formal first reading by the D.C. council. That is the second of six required steps toward enactment of a mobile driver’s license (mDL) law.

The bill specifies that showing a police officer the digital ID would not give them the right to search a mobile device holding the document. There are no other privacy provisions attached to the proposed law at this point.

A racial equity impact study on the plan turned up inconclusive findings on whether the mDL would harm residents of color.

District leaders previously approved distribution of digital vehicle registration documents as part of the Department of Motor Vehicles’ Android and iOS apps. Among the data it carries is a vehicle’s identification number, model year and make, tag number and the owner’s residential parking permit.

The driving license would be a legal digital ID in any situation that a physical ID is accepted, except where prohibited by federal law.

In the meantime, Apple continues its efforts to woo the district and the states of use its mobile devices as a person’s driving license.

Mississippi is the latest state to announce an mDL launch, and the credentials’ acceptance is gradually expanding in other states like Utah.

Attempts to create at least the foundation for digital identification nationwide continue, though with little concrete results.

Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session



December 1, 2021 01:58 PM


Senator Marty Flynn


All Senate members


Establishing a Digital ID Program in Pennsylvania

In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation establishing a digital identification program to provide Pennsylvanians the option to access and display proof of identification on their mobile devices.

The proliferation of smartphones has led more and more people to use digital wallets for purchases and other transactions – often electing to not carry their physical wallets. Recognizing this shift, it is prudent for the Commonwealth to leverage this technology allow for secure, digital identification to be accepted as proof of identity and age within the state.

My legislation will authorize the creation of a Pennsylvania Digital ID, which may be accepted as a legal form of personal identification for use in Pennsylvania. It will direct all Commonwealth agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction to accept the Pennsylvania Digital ID as a method to prove a person’s identity where a physical driver’s license or state ID card is currently required. It will also direct PennDOT to create and implement an educational campaign to inform organizations, businesses, and individuals across the state that Pennsylvania Digital ID is a valid form of identification. Finally, the legislation will direct PennDOT to work with the appropriate federal agencies to ensure that the Pennsylvania Digital ID is authorized under the REAL ID Modernization Act.

With the advancement of technology, the Commonwealth has an opportunity and obligation to use technology to improve convenience and access to state services for Pennsylvanians. Please join me in supporting this legislation.

mDL Pop-up Classroom

March 1-2, 2022  |  San Diego, CA

Our first pop-up classroom, featuring a two-day immersive experience of mDL demonstrations and discussions about the interoperability standard, implementation guidelines, use cases, lessons learned, and much more. This educational and informative opportunity is designed for agencies considering mDL deployment and their business partners. More information, including registration and jurisdiction travel assistance, will be posted on our website and communicated in our member newsletters soon. 

Apple Delays Mobile ID Rollout, Hints at Retail, Venue Access Features

Apple has quietly delayed the launch of its mobile ID system, yet is hinting that the project is more ambitious than it previously appeared.

The tech giant first unveiled its mobile ID project in June of this year, promising that users in select states would be able to upload virtual versions of their official driver’s licenses into the iPhone’s mobile wallet. At the time, Apple suggested that this functionality would arrive later in 2021.

Expectations were perhaps heightened when the company announced its initial partner states in the project toward the end of summer, with partners including Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, Utah, Arizona, and Georgia. It also revealed that it was working with the Transportation Security Administration to ensure that the mobile ID could be used by travelers as valid identification at airports, and confirmed that it would use a form of biometric selfie onboarding to confirm users’ identities.

Now, MacRumors has discovered that an update to Apple’s dedicated iOS 15 operating system webpage features an addendum to its mobile ID section that says, “Coming early 2022.”

No explanation has been provided for the delay, but it’s worth noting that the update appears to have come after CNBC’s publication of details about Apple’s formal agreements with its state-level partners in the mobile ID project. To many, the agreements appeared to give Apple a high amount of control over how mobile ID systems would be rolled out and promoted, while making maintenance costs the burden of partner states.

That having been said, it may also be worth noting that the government of Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, has also delayed its launch of its own mobile ID solution until 2022, with government officials explaining that they’ve had to prioritize resources toward the development of a more urgently needed vaccination status confirmation app for businesses. So far there has been no indication that Ontario was working with Apple on its mobile ID system.

Whatever the underlying cause of Apple’s delay, the company’s one-sentence note attached to the “ID cards” section of its iOS 15 page suggests that Apple plans to extend the mobile ID system’s functionality far beyond interactions with government officials and airport authorities. “Add your driver’s license or state ID to Wallet for use when you travel and, in the future, at retailers and venues,” the company says. It’s vague, but it suggests that Apple expects the mobile ID to eventually find use cases in payments and access that haven’t yet been specified.

Sources: MacRumors, USA Today, CityNews Toronto

DES MOINES — Sometime next year, Iowans will have the option of keeping their state-issued driver's
license on their smartphones and not just their wallets.

Melissa Gillett, director of the Iowa Department of Transportation's motor vehicle division, said state
officials have launched a pilot project aimed at making digital driver's licenses, or "mobile ID," available
for download via Apple and Android smartphone apps sometime in 2022. Iowa is among a number of
states that have considered, tested or already launched versions of driver's licenses that live digitally on

Plans call for testing devices equipped with digital versions of the mobile driver's license through
December, with expectations that about 100 Iowa DOT employees will be enlisted by spring as a test
group to collect feedback and ensure the app is working as expected, she said.

"We'll be piloting this with the internal users prior to making the app available to all Iowans and we do
expect that to happen around the summer of 2022," Gillett said.

The proposed mobile driver's license will be optional for those who prefer the digital convenience, but all
Iowans still will be expected to carry hard-copy licenses even if their electronic devices are equipped with
the digital version of Iowa's common form of state identification, she noted.

"Everybody will still have to have a physical card issued to them. They can just choose to have a mobile
version of that on their phone if they would like to," she said.

"We expect this won't be for everyone. There may be people who choose not to adopt it or may choose to
wait and that's perfectly fine," said Gillett — although there probably will come a time when this will be
the accepted norm rather than the exception, she added.

"We anticipate it will take some time before we transition. It will take some time for everyone to get used
to having this available through mobile device and have that transition period. We know some states
already offer this and are starting to use it," Gillett said.

Iowa DOT officials are working with technology vendors to address security and privacy concerns, and
to make sure the new form of digital ID can be accepted by retail establishments and other places where
identification or proof of age or address are required.

"Right now those places are taking a physical ID and so there's a transition that will need to happen to
make sure they're ready to start accepting that via a mobile device," she said, which will have the same
type of bar code that's on the back of current licenses.

To enable the mobile identification, a smartphone user will open the app, then scan the front and back of
his or her physical driver's license and take a "selfie" photograph that Iowa DOT officials can match with
the data and image on file before authorizing the new digital ID for enrollment.

Iowa DOT officials also are working with law enforcement agencies in adapting to the new form of
identification, which is expected to cut down on fraud while making provisions to limit access to personal
information in cases where Iowans present a digital ID to a law enforcement officer.

There will be no additional charge for the mobile ID app in the first year, but in subsequent years there
will be a $4.99 charge paid directly to the app vendor in addition to the state's driver's license fee. The
new digital driver's license also will meet the Transportation Security Administration's REAL ID that will
be required for boarding an airplane or entering a federal building after May 3, 2023, if all the proper
steps were taken for its issuance.

Even though mobile ID still is in developmental, Gillett said there has been public interest in the new
digital form of identification.

"We've received a lot of initial excitement about the app. All the time we get people contacting us saying,
'hey, I'm willing to be one of the first if you're looking for testers.' So we know that there is anticipation
for this and we know that Iowans want it for the convenience of having it," she said.

Nov 23, 2021 | Chris Burt

As the mobile driver’s licenses (mDLs) that will likely be the first digital ID for many Americans begin to roll out, the Kantara Initiative is taking further steps to make sure they fulfil their potential for privacy protection.

Kantara has formed a working group for privacy-enhancing mobile credentials after polling 31 Pennsylvania residents about how they use their driver’s licenses. This exercise revealed a broad range of use cases for the ID document, including visiting notaries, cashing checks at a retail establishment, buying age-restricted products and applying for other credentials. As in many places around the world, driver’s licenses have become de facto standard identity documents, Kantara notes.

The Privacy Enhancing Mobile Credentials (PEMC) working group will address the trustworthiness and security of mDLs, and work to address them with privacy and security standards that go beyond the single-transaction scope of ISO/IEC 18013-5:2021. New standards should address the privacy of identity and personal information after the transaction is completed, according to the group.

“We need a robust level of debate in this area. We need to understand what makes for a good, trustworthy experience from the perspective of wallet provider, credential issuer and verifier AND the user,” says Kantara Chairman John Wunderlich.

“As an industry, we need to create an environment that rebuilds consumer confidence at a time when data security and privacy are really under the spotlight.

“To do that we need to use standards as the building block – and assessors that can independently monitor compliance to those standards. That is where Kantara excels.”

The announcement notes further issues that must be dealt with, such as what will happen if a person holds multiple credentials, such as mDLs from different jurisdictions.

Kantara also published a report with recommendations for how vendors and other stakeholders can support user control of mDLs.

Little by little, it’s turning into simpler and extra handy to “current your papers” upon request. You’re accustomed to protecting your driver’s license with you, however states are more and more rolling out digitized variations that “go manner past what a driver’s license is about.”1 Arizona, for example, launched a cellular driver’s license (mDL) app in March 2021, and Eric Jorgensen, director of the motorized vehicle division of Arizona’s Division of Transportation, advised Authorities Know-how:2

“I really hate the time period ‘mDL’ as a result of it doesn’t acknowledge the ability of what we’re doing right here … The entire idea is that we’re offering a option to remotely authenticate an individual, to supply a trusted digital id that doesn’t exist at this time.

As soon as we offer that, we’re opening doorways to enhanced authorities companies. Additionally, the federal government can play a key position in facilitating commerce, offering a greater citizen expertise and offering for the safety of that citizen …”

Cellular IDs Tied to Well being Care, Regulation Enforcement

GET Group North America is working fervently to create “safe ID credentials,”3 which incorporates the discharge of a world customary for cellular driver’s licenses and cellular IDs (mID). The requirements had been accepted for publication August 18, 2021, clearing the way in which for “world ID and driver’s license issuers to confidently deploy mDL options, and for verifiers around the globe to implement or undertake mDL readers.”4

GET’s Cellular ID additionally intends to go far past a typical driver’s license to behave as a digital id that may tie in to retail, well being care, legislation enforcement and journey sectors. The pandemic accelerated what was beforehand a gradual transition to digital, utilizing the general public well being dogma that it could be higher to not move bodily paperwork and IDs forwards and backwards.

“Having the ability to empower clients to have a credential that they’ll use in a transaction the place they’re not passing forwards and backwards a bodily doc has been additional accelerated by the pandemic,” Ian Grossman, vp of member companies and public affairs for the American Affiliation of Motor Car Directors (AAMVA), advised Authorities Know-how.5

mDLs and mIDs are additionally supposed to supply a streamlined identification verification system that can be utilized globally, taking out completely different IDs for particular person states.

“[El]lectronic authentication can provide the mDL verifier confidence within the offered ID with out requiring specialised information of the a whole bunch of card design and security measures relevant to the driving force’s licenses (and their variants) which might be issued by 56 states and territories,” the Safe Know-how Alliance wrote.6

Finally, the IDs will even act as vaccine passports, making it simple to show whether or not you’ve gotten a COVID-19 injection — and some other future injections that come about — with a purpose to go about your every day life.

DMVs Turned Into Identification Administration Bureaus

Solely a handful of states presently provide mDLs and uptake is dealing with hurdles as a result of, whereas the cellular driver’s licenses can be found, the know-how to learn them isn’t being broadly used — but. The plan is that police departments, companies, state companies and extra will settle for, or require, mDLs with a purpose to confirm id. In Colorado, at the least 100,000 residents have downloaded the state’s myColorado app,7 which affords a digital ID and vaccine report.8

In Delaware, greater than 10,000 individuals downloaded the state’s digital ID app in a six-week interval.9 The initiatives are being headed up by completely different departments, together with know-how, transportation and motorized vehicle, relying on the state, however some imagine DMVs could possibly be simply transitioned into the position throughout the U.S. Authorities Know-how defined:10

“One particular person working on the middle of the cellular ID motion believes state CIOs ought to kind nearer partnerships with DMVs. Matthew Thompson is senior vp for civil id, North America, at IDEMIA, an organization that companions with 34 state DMVs on bodily driver’s license options.

The corporate has partnered with three states on mDLs thus far. He says that governors and state CIOs ought to have a look at their DMV not simply as an company that gives driver and automobile companies, however as one that may function as an id administration bureau for the whole state and supply verification companies to allow e-government.

‘State CIOs want to raised perceive the [role] that trusted id performs in driving their complete digital transformation,’ Thompson stated. ‘They’ve a built-in id bureau of their state that has a system of report that gives a route of belief that different companies can profit from instantly.’”

Apple Groups Up With Authorities to ID You

In sure states, together with Arizona and Georgia — and shortly Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, Iowa, Utah and Connecticut — residents can use their iPhone and Apple Watches as a type of digital ID. As soon as your state ID is added to your machine’s pockets, together with a photograph of the cardboard and your face, it is going to ask you to finish facial and head actions to arrange your digital ID.

“In impact,” Vox reported, “this method seems to be a brand new type of government-supported biometric ID verification that goes past an everyday photograph in a course of that probably offers new knowledge to state governments in addition to to Apple.”11 Already, the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) is planning so as to add lanes that settle for digital IDs for vacationers, the place you’ll be capable of faucet your iPhone or Apple Watch to confirm your id.12

Within the state of New York, the place these aged 12 and older are required to point out proof of a COVID-19 shot to go to eating places, gyms, assembly areas and leisure venues like aquariums, film theaters {and professional} sports activities arenas, might use New York State’s Excelsior Cross to show they’ve been injected. Now, New York can be working with IBM to probably increase the Excelsior Cross to incorporate driver’s licenses.13

There are additionally a variety of different vaccine passport apps that may be added to digital wallets, together with VaxYes from GoGetVax, which works with Apple Pockets and Google Pay.14 This raises purple flags that digital ID verification is barely the start of the surveillance that’s deliberate. Vox reported:15

“The Surveillance Know-how Oversight Challenge additionally obtained a contract revealing that the state of New York has greater plans for its Excelsior Cross than it initially disclosed, which might reveal the dangers of comparable digital ID packages.

‘It’s onerous to belief the declare from officers that these apps are solely going to do X or Y,’ Albert Fox Cahn, an legal professional on the Surveillance Know-how Oversight Challenge, warned in June, pointing to the potential enlargement of the Excelsior Cross. ‘We see this clear sample of them being put in for one goal after which expanded for an additional.’”

Fox additionally raised considerations over New York’s Covid Secure app, which permits customers so as to add a photograph ID, vaccination card and COVID-19 assessments outcomes.16 However as for safety, Fox tweeted, in August 2021, “New York Metropolis’s new #NYCCovidSafe app is not precisely leading edge know-how. It accepted this portrait of Mickey as proof of vaccination.”17

Laying the Infrastructure for a Social Credit score System

Some have speculated that the introduction of digital IDs and vaccine passports within the U.S. is laying the infrastructure for a social credit score system. China’s social credit score system, a large endeavor of presidency surveillance that goals to mix 600 million surveillance cameras — about one for each two residents — with facial recognition know-how, has an end-goal of with the ability to establish anybody, wherever, inside three seconds.18

At current, the system remains to be disjointed and centered on company social credit score extra so than particular person social credit score, but it surely’s “evolving quickly.”19 Right here’s an instance of how social credit score can work, from 2019 — earlier than the pandemic, which has solely accelerated knowledge assortment and surveillance measures — from Wired:20

“The standards that go right into a social credit score rating will depend on the place you might be, notes [Mareike] Ohlberg, [research associate at the Mercator Institute for China Studies]. ‘It is in keeping with which place you are in, as a result of they’ve their very own catalogs,’ she says. It will probably vary from not paying fines if you’re deemed absolutely in a position to, misbehaving on a practice, standing up a taxi, or driving by a purple mild.

One metropolis, Rongcheng, offers all residents 1,000 factors to begin. Authorities make deductions for unhealthy habits like visitors violations, and add factors for good habits reminiscent of donating to charity.

One regulation Ohlberg lately learn particularly addresses stealing electrical energy. After all, you will need to get caught first or be reported by another person. Whereas facial recognition is infamously used to identify jaywalkers, in some cities it is not so automated, Ohlberg notes.

Personal tasks, reminiscent of Sesame Credit score, hoover up all kinds of knowledge on its 400 million clients, from how a lot time they spend taking part in video video games (that is unhealthy) to whether or not they’re a guardian (that is good). That may be shared with different firms. One notorious instance is Sesame Credit score linking up with the Baihe courting web site, so could be companions can decide one another on their appears in addition to their social credit score rating; that system is opt-in.”

Majority in Favor of Privateness-Encroaching Know-how

Pushed by concern, acceptance of “privacy-encroaching know-how” that guarantees an phantasm of security is excessive. Within the U.Ok., researchers from the College of Bristol performed two giant surveys about such applied sciences, with overwhelming positivity reported.21 That is the primary measured public acceptance of location monitoring by your cellphone that will enable well being companies to observe your contact with others to focus on social distancing and quarantine measures.

About 70% of the respondents stated they might settle for such an app that they may select to obtain and, surprisingly, 65% additionally stated they might settle for such an app even when it was mandated by the federal government and used to find these violating lockdown orders and subject fines and arrests.22

A second survey evaluated acceptance of vaccine passports, with 60% stating they had been in favor and solely 20% stating they had been strongly opposed. The examine’s lead writer, professor Stephan Lewandowsky, described these opposed as “surprisingly low,” including, “It’s fascinating how individuals appear more and more receptive to their private knowledge getting used to tell themselves and others about what they’ll and may’t do.”23

The know-how getting used to roll out digital IDs is similar to that getting used to create vaccine passports. It’s solely a matter of time earlier than the 2 are merged, and your complete id, together with your medical historical past, funds and extra, could possibly be saved in a cellular app that’s more and more required to partake in society. Whereas some may name this comfort, others would name it oppression.

On a whim, I sent an email to the 31 folks who work in this office, “Where do you use your Pennsylvania driver’s license?” Half of the staff responded. Below you will find our list, for whatever use you might find it. Some of this is unique to Pennsylvania (#9 "PennDOT messenger services, full agents, card agents," as one example) but most of the answers reach across every state border.

Thank you.

Marc A.

  1. Well, getting stopped by the municipal, city, county, or state police for a violation of the Vehicle Code. (Not that I personally would have any experience here!)
  2. Getting stopped by other law enforcement personal (FBI, reps from the PA Attorney General’s office, etc.)
  3. Pulling it out when an auto accident occurs (or a deer hits your car! (in my case)).
  4. When checking in at the airport with the luggage; before TSA
  5. TSA at the airport, with Real ID, can be used for flying within the USA.
  6. Medical facilities (local emergency service places, real hospitals (AHN, UPMC, etc.))
  7. Doctor offices (PCP, dentist, surgeon, eye doctor, ear doctor, and on and on)
  8. Cashing a check at a grocery store. (For those of you under thirty Google “check” to see what I am talking about!)
  9. Car dealerships, PennDOT messenger services, full agents, card agents.
  10. Visit a notary who does not know me personally with a paper-based transaction.
  11. To apply to a RON vendor to be on their platform?
  12. To purchase a digital certificate to use the notarial process?
  13. Using a remote online electronic notary (RON) or other versions (RIN, IPEN, AVN, TWIN, etc.)
  14. Pawnshops or any other place where you can sell your home electronics/items of value for cash – They are required to submit that ID information and a list of items sold to the local police department… at least in Pittsburgh
  15. I had to pull mine out for the covid and flu vaccines this year, including my Flu and COVID boosters. 
  16. At a liquor store
  17. Buying lottery tickets at a gas station if you look young
  18. Buying tobacco products (which I assume mean vape products also)
  19. FedEx or post office when picking up a package
  20. When crossing international borders. Crossing the border to Canada/Mexico by land.
  21. Fishing and Hunting Licenses
  22. At a bar, restaurant, wineries/breweries when ordering alcoholic beverages
  23. At a store or pharmacy when purchasing prescriptions or some cold/allergy medicines (they track these purchases because people use the ingredients to make illegal drugs)
  24. Obtaining a library card or renewing my local public library card (to prove that I still live in the township)
  25. Verifying that I am the person named on my credit card (I have “Ask For Photo ID” written on the backs of my credit cards)
  26. Renting a car, SUV, van, RV, U-Haul, etc.
  27. When dealing face-to-face with government agencies in their offices (municipal, city, county, state, federal)
  28. Picking up tickets at a box office
  29. Checking into a hotel, motel, B&B, camping ground, Airbnb location(?), condo rental, etc.
  30. Being carded at a door to a 21+ event, concerts, and venues
  31. Entering a casino in PA
  32. Entering Federal Buildings (REAL ID)
  33. Opening an account at a bank, credit union, store, etc., and I assume at one of those ‘fast cash your paycheck’ places
  34. To take the Pennsylvania notary public exam
  35. Perhaps to apply for professional and occupational licenses from the PA Department of State (and other states)
  36. To provide identity evidence to join professional Associations (perhaps the Bar, etc. I don’t know)
  37. Purchasing a firearm
  38. Applying for a rental unit or apartment
  39. Joining a gym or YMCA
  40. Buying alcohol at Sheetz ‘gas stations’.  From the respondent: They did not scan it for my ID to check age, but scanned for other data collection
  41. To visit your local public school during school hours.  Get checked in by security. Just to visit your own children.
  42. Renting power equipment from Home Depot or another equipment dealer
  43. Applying for a job
  44. Applying for insurance
  45. Registering to bid at an auction
  46. To apply for a passport, visa, “green card”?
  47. Admission to a theater to see an “R” rated movie! (I can’t make this up, and no, it was not me!)
  48. Can be used as proof of identity/eligibility for employment purposes.
  49. Used for State and/or federal background checks / fingerprinting
  50. Proof that you are an organ donor (or not)
  51. Proof that you are a Veteran (or not), so you can get certain services or discounts
  52. Will call tickets (tickets you have ordered and picked up at the theater)
  53. I got carded at a movie theater to make sure I matched the name on my vaccination card
  54. Boarding a train